Judge freezes Neymar's assets in tax evasion probe

Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:49pm EDT
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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The parents of Brazil forward Neymar have denied any wrongdoing after a judge froze 188.8 million reais ($47.6 million) of the player's assets in a tax evasion case.

Neymar is accused of not paying 63.3 million reais in taxes between 2011 and 2013 but his parents said the Barcelona player "cannot declare what is not his" and is not a partner in the firms a judge said were part-owned by the player.

The judge froze three times that amount for security reasons and to cover potential interest and fines, according to a judicial order explaining the seizure.

The action covers property and vehicles and is a preventive measure to stop the player selling assets before the case is settled. He will still have access to bank accounts and other liquid assets.

Judge Carlos Muta accused the 23-year-old of "omitting sources of income from abroad". Barcelona Football Club was cited as the source of unreported money.

The frozen assets were in the name of the Brazil player and three companies in which he and his parents are the principal owners, the judge said. Neymar's total assets were given as 244.2 million reais.

However, Neymar's parents said the decision was based on an "incorrect understanding" of their son's income.

"Neymar Jr did not avoid paying taxes, and neither did any of our companies," Neymar da Silva Santos and Nadine Goncalves da Silva Santos said in a statement released to the press.

"We have done our duty and we are confident that everything will be cleared up in due time."   Continued...

Sep 8, 2015; Foxborough, Mass, USA; Brazil forward Neymar Jr. (10) celebrates after he scored on a penalty kick during the second half of Brazil's 4-1 win over the United States at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports