Neymar Fraud, Corruption Charges Over Transfer to Barcelona From Santos Dropped

Adam WellsOctober 28, 2022

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 25: Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain Looks on during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Paris Saint-Germain and Maccabi Haifa FC at Parc des Princes on October 25, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Neymar has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the investigation of fraud and corruption charges in Spain related to his 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona.

According to Reuters, prosecutors dropped all of the chargers against the Paris Saint-Germain star after all defendants testified.

"There is not the slightest hint of crime," prosecutor Luis Garcia Canton said of the decision.

Citing a source close to the Neymar family, Reuters reported their legal representatives "would claim costs against the private prosecution for what they consider recklessness, acting in poor faith and for abuse of process" and reserve the right to claim for damages.

In 2014, Spanish authorities opened an investigation into alleged tax fraud of 9.1 million euros into Barcelona related to Neymar's transfer.

Per ESPN's Dermot Corrigan, the issue appeared to be related to two payments made in 2011 and 2013 totaling 37.9 million euros that went to a Brazilian-based company controlled by Neymar's father that should have been considered taxable income.

Neymar was named in a separate fraud lawsuit in June 2015 filed by Brazilian investment fund DIS, which owned 40 percent of his transfer rights, related to the move.

Barcelona were originally reported to have signed Neymar for $65 million in 2013, but investigators alleged the club paid a much higher price while only declaring the reported amount.

Barcelona denied any wrongdoing throughout the investigation. The trial for Neymar and eight others began in Barcelona on Oct. 17.

Prosecutors were seeking a two-year prison term and $9.8 million fine for Neymar. They also wanted former Barca president Sandro Rosell to receive five years in prison and for the club to be fined.

Reuters noted at the start of the trial that DIS was demanding five years in jail for Neymar and a fine of 149 million euros for the defendants.

Neymar began his senior career with Santos in 2009. The Brazilian star then spent four years with Barcelona before moving to PSG in August 2017.