Spanish prosecutors are seeking an indictment of FC Barcelona for tax fraud in the deal that brought Brazilian striker Neymar to the club, according to court documents.
Barça shortchanged the Spanish treasury to the tune of 9.1 million euros ($12.5 million), prosecutor Jose Perals said in a brief filed with Judge Pablo Ruz, who is already investigating the club's former president in connection with the Neymar acquisition.
Management used multiple parallel contracts and "financial engineering" to understate Barcelona's tax liability, the prosecutor said.
The Catalan club paid Neymar a total of 37.9 million euros in two installments, Perals said, and should have withheld 24.7 percent of that - 9.1 million euros - in non-resident taxes.
Instead, according to the prosecutor, Barcelona only withheld 24.7 percent of the 8.5 million euros the club paid Neymar in 2013.
Barça can discharge any civil liability by reaching a payment accord with tax authorities, but that would not necessarily forestall a criminal prosecution.
Last month, Judge Ruz agreed to investigate allegations by a club member that then-president Sandro Rosell profited personally from the acquisition of Neymar for a transfer fee of 57 million euros ($78.2 million).
Rosell stepped down the following day. EFE