Brazilian football star Neymar has lost his final appeal and will stand trial on corruption charges related to his transfer to Barcelona four years ago.
Barcelona, Brazilian club Santos and the company run by Neymar’s parents also lost their appeals and will stand trial after a complaint brought by Brazilian investment group DIS.
The group says it was entitled to 40% of the transfer fee Barcelona paid Santos for Neymar but received a smaller compensation because part of the fee was concealed by those involved.
Prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence and a fine of nearly 10 million euros for Neymar and his father on corruption charges, although they are not likely to face any jail time if found guilty because they would be first-time offenders.
Prosecutors are also seeking a fine of about €9m from Barcelona and €7m from Santos.
Neymar is unlikely to face prison time even if found guilty of corruption charges.
DIS paid about €1.4 million for its 40% of Neymar’s rights in 2009.
Barcelona said the price of Neymar’s transfer was €57.1m, of which Santos received €17.1m.
But prosecutors said the total amount paid by the Catalan club to Santos was €25.1m – considering payments for future acquisitions and partnerships for friendlies – meaning DIS would be entitled to an additional €3.2m.
In June, Barcelona paid a fine of €5.5m in a separate case after acknowledging to Spain’s tax authorities that they made “an error in the fiscal planning of the player’s transfer.”
In July, Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi and his father were sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud but were not sent to jail because sentences of less than two years for first offences are usually suspended in Spain. – ESPN