Neymar, Barcelona, Santos Lose Appeal, to Face Fraud, Corruption Charges

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2017

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar leaves Spain's national court in Madrid on February 2, 2016. Barcelona star Neymar and president Josep Maria Bartomeu will be called to give evidence this week in the murky case over the deal which brought the Brazilian to the Catalan giants from Santos in 2013.   AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO / AFP / JAVIER SORIANO        (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images

Barcelona, Santos and star forward Neymar all had their appeals turned down by a Spanish high court and will stand trial on charges of fraud and corruption.  

Reuters (for Sky Sports) shared a statement from the court, which added Neymar's mother and the family company to the list:  "Santos FC, Barcelona FC, Neymar, his mother Nadine Goncalves and N&N, the family company, have lost their appeals to have charges of fraud and corruption dropped."

Per the report, Brazilian investment group DIS complained they didn't receive all the money owed to them when Neymar made the move from Santos to Barcelona in 2013. 

Leganes' Argentinian midfielder Alexander Szymanowski vies with Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (R) during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs CD Leganes at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on February 19, 2017. / AFP / Josep Lago
JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

It's the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the Brazil international. According to Folha de S. Paulo (h/t ESPN FC), Brazilian courts ordered him to pay a staggering €45.9 million in fines and back-taxes last year. Barcelona also paid over 5 million to the Spanish state in a settlement, per Sky Sports's Allan Valente.

Dermot Corrigan outlined the scandal in a lengthy article for Bleacher Report.

The forward was one of the most wanted players in the world when Santos started negotiating his exit in 2013, and DIS held part of his transfer rights. According to the Telegraph, Barcelona claimed to have paid €57.1 million for his services, but the authorities believe the real cost was €83.3 million.

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 14: Neymar Jr of FC Barcelona in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona at Parc des Princes on February 14, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Ge
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

DIS was entitled to 40 percent of the transfer fee. The group has asked for a five-year prison sentence for Neymar, but the state has suggested a two-year sentence. Under Spanish law, sentences of two years or shorter are usually suspended for a first offence, but Neymar could be banned from playing if DIS get their way.

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