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  Tax - Legal News


Cristiano Ronaldo has been summoned to appear before a Spanish judge, and Jose Mourinho could be next. Ronaldo and Mourinho are the latest members of the soccer elite to be accused of tax fraud in Spain. Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, among others, have already been convicted.

On Tuesday, Ronaldo was told to appear in court on July 31, while Mourinho was accused by a state prosecutor of defrauding Spain's Tax Office of 3.3 million euros ($3.7 million).

Ronaldo, who is in Russia at the Confederations Cup with Portugal's national soccer team, has played in Spain for Real Madrid since 2009. The 54-year-old Mourinho was Real Madrid coach from 2010-13. He now is the coach of English club Manchester United.

The cases are about the profits made from image rights, not salaries from their clubs. Real Madrid and Man United are not directly involved.

Both Ronaldo and Mourinho are represented by Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes. Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao and Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao, who have also been accused of tax fraud in Spain, are also clients of Mendes. A request for comment from Mendes' agency, Gestifute, was not immediately answered.

Last week, Ronaldo was accused by a state prosecutor of four counts of tax fraud totaling 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million). The Portugal forward is now under official investigation and will have to appear in the Pozuelo de Alarcon court No. 1 on July 31. A judge will then decide if they are grounds to charge him with a crime.

The prosecutor said last Tuesday that there was evidence that Ronaldo used a shell company in the Virgin Islands to hide the money he had made from image rights. Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing.

The accusations against Ronaldo have caused speculation in Portugal and Spain that he is now considering leaving the country to play elsewhere.

The summoning of Ronaldo coincided with the same Madrid-based prosecutor's office accusing Mourinho of two counts of tax fraud.



An Indiana federal court has ruled against a former central Indiana marshal who is seeking back pay from the town of Summitville.

The (Anderson) Herald Bulletin reports the federal court in southern Indiana ruled state minimum wage law says former Summitville marshal Tony Hendrick isn't entitled to the back pay.

Hendrick sued the Madison County town last year. A Madison County judge ruled against Hendrick, saying that the town didn't qualify as an employer because it only had two full-time employees.

Hendrick argues he regularly worked between 130 and 140 hours per week as marshal, including on-call time. He says the town didn't give him the overtime or minimum wage pay. He retired in October 2013 after three decades working with the town of about 1,000 residents.


Brazilian authorities have blocked assets of Barcelona star Neymar, including a yacht, a jet and several properties worth almost $50 million.

A Sao Paulo federal court rejected an appeal from the Brazilian striker last week and started issuing warrants to freeze the assets worth 192 million reals (almost $50 million), Brazilian media reported on Monday.

Last year, Neymar, his family and related businesses were found guilty of evading 63 million reals in taxes (almost $16 million) between 2011 and 2013 when he was playing for Brazilian club Santos. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The 23-year-old Neymar used the jet to travel to Brazil for World Cup qualifying matches and holidays.

Iagaro Jung Martins, an auditor with Brazil's federal tax agency, told The Associated Press that Neymar isn't likely to go to jail if he pays what regulators say he owes.



Romania's outgoing prime minister has appeared at the high court where he's on trial for tax evasion, money-laundering, conflict of interest and making false statements.

Victor Ponta arrived at the High Court for Cassation and Justice Friday, declining comment saying he was now "a private citizen."

Ponta and his Cabinet resigned Wednesday after mass protests following a nightclub fire that killed more than 30. Protesters have staged mass rallies demanding better governance.

The charges Ponta faces refer to a period when he was working as a lawyer. He denies wrongdoing.

Prosecutors say Ponta, who is still a lawmaker, forged expense claims worth at least 181,000 lei ($45,000) from the law firm of political ally. Prosecutors say he pretended he worked as a lawyer to justify getting money from the firm.



Upsetting millions of Brazilians two years ago, soccer star Neymar jumped from Brazil to Spain to play for Barcelona. Now a Brazilian court is taking a shot of its own by charging that Neymar didn’t declare all his businesses, income, and assets and owes the nation of his birth millions in taxes.

The court has frozen his accounts as authorities investigate.

In 2013, Neymar da Silva Santos, Jr., simply known as “Neymar” by millions of soccer fans, went from playing on Brazil’s Santos football team to competing for Barcelona in Spain. Brazilians often called him “the next Pelé,” a nod to Brazil’s most famous footballer.

This week, Brazilian Judge Carlos Muta froze upwards to $48 million of the player’s assets as well as some of the accounts of his family members in order to keep him from transferring or trying to hide his income.

The judge claims that Neymar only declared a little less than $5 million in assets when he moved to Spain.

To safeguard future payments, the court froze assets worth 150 percent of what they estimate Neymar might owe including penalties and fines. An auditor with Brazil’s tax agency, though, told the media that there wouldn’t likely be any jail time and the whole thing is probably not going to be too bad for the soccer star if he just pays what he owes.

Washington wants pot tax trial in state court

  Tax  -   POSTED: 2014/06/03 12:00

The state attorney general's office has asked a federal judge in Seattle to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Washington's authority to tax marijuana sales.

In the motion Friday to U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, the state says Martin Nickerson failed to appeal the tax assessments in a timely manner and that the issue should be resolved in state court.

The case arises from the state's attempt to collect sales taxes from a medical marijuana dispensary in Bellingham. Attorney Douglas Hiatt, who represents Nickerson, said it could throw a wrench in Washington's plans for collecting taxes on recreational marijuana, too.

The lawsuit challenges Washington state's authority to tax marijuana as long as marijuana remains illegal under federal law.


Court to hear dispute over state tax collection

  Tax  -   POSTED: 2014/05/28 15:31

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider a dispute over how a state may tax the income that its residents earn in another state.

In a case that could affect how taxes are collected in every state, the justices will hear an appeal from Maryland officials who want to overturn a lower court ruling that found the state's tax law unconstitutional.

Maryland law allows residents to deduct income taxes paid to other states from their Maryland state tax. But it does not apply that deduction when it comes to a local "piggyback tax" the state collects for counties and some city governments.

Last year, the Maryland Court of Appeals said the tax violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause. The court said the law discourages Maryland residents from earning money outside the state.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler says the state has authority to tax all income of its residents, even income earned outside the state. He said the Court of Appeals' decision could cost local governments $45 million to $50 million annually and warned that Maryland might have to refund up to $120 million in taxes.

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