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Neymar's assets, including yacht and jet, frozen in Brazil in tax evasion ruling

SAO PAULO -- Brazilian authorities have moved to block assets of Barcelona star Neymar, including a yacht, a jet and several properties in his home nation.

The Sao Paulo federal court has started issuing warrants to freeze the assets worth 192 million reals (almost $50m, €45m).

Last year, Neymar, his family and related businesses were found guilty of evading 63m reals in Brazil taxes ($16m, €14m) between 2011 and 2013, while Neymar played for Brazilian club Santos. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The courts previously froze his assets in September, and Brazilian newspapers reported that the player's appeal against the decision was rejected last week.

In January, Neymar and his father were reportedly ordered to pay €100,000 as a fine for unpaid taxes during 2007-08.

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 he owes.

"He can still appeal that decision, but it is a step forward," Martins said. "Nothing changed to what was in place last year: if he pays what he owes, the case is closed. Our legislation isn't too harsh."

In a separate case, Neymar appeared in court in Spain earlier this month in matters relating to his transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.

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