Defender Adriano joins list of Barca players in trouble over taxes

Wed May 4, 2016 12:29pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Brazilian defender Adriano is the latest Barcelona player to be embroiled in a tax scandal after a Spanish court said on Wednesday he had been accused earlier this year with defrauding the Spanish state of 646,086 euros ($742,927).

The Brazilian paid the full amount owed to the tax authorities on March 7, the court added in a statement. A judge must now decide whether to pursue the matter in court.

Adriano joined Barcelona in 2010 from Sevilla. The court said he had been charged with defrauding Spain of 189,419.53 euros in 2011 and 456,666.56 euros in 2012 for ceding his image rights through an offshore company in Madeira, Portugal.

Barcelona’s all-time top scorer Lionel Messi was accused in 2013 of defrauding the government of more than 4 million euros from 2006 to 2009. He is due to stand trial on June 7 alongside his father Jorge.

In January, Barca and Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano pleaded guilty to defrauding the state of 1.5 million euros by concealing earnings from image rights. He accepted a one-year prison sentence, but he is not expected to spend any time behind bars as sentences shorter than two years are not usually enforced in Spain.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Barcelona's Adriano Correia gestures as he arrives for a training session at Joan Gamper training camp, near Barcelona, Spain, October 19, 2015. Barcelona will play against Bate Borisov during their Champions League group match on Tuesday. REUTERS/Albert Gea? - RTS52CT