Football: Benfica Lisbon leaders indicted for tax fraud

The president and administrator of the Portuguese club, as well as the company that manages the club and the one that owns its stadium are suspected of having harmed the tax authorities to the tune of 600,000 euros during the years 2016 and 2017.

Portuguese football is not done with tax fraud cases. Tuesday, July 14 in the evening, the management of Benfica Lisbon confirmed that its president, Luis Filipe Vieira, administrator Domingos Soares de Oliveira, as well as the company that manages the club and the one that owns its stadium have been indicted. by justice for aggravated tax fraud. They are suspected of having injured the tax authorities to the tune of 600,000 euros during the years 2016 and 2017.

Following press information, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic confirmed on Tuesday “the existence of an investigation (…) relating to facts likely to constitute an offense of tax fraud” , without however specifying the names of the persons and companies under investigation.

According to the Portuguese media, the suspicions of justice relate to payments amounting to 1.8 million euros paid to an IT provider for services that would never have been rendered.

In early March, Benfica Lisbon had already been targeted by suspicion of tax evasion. It was then an investigation on player transfers. The capital club was not, however, the only one to be worried: FC Porto or Sporting and Braga had also been the target of searches carried out by a hundred tax inspectors and 180 gendarmes led by fifteen magistrates in “various football clubs, among their leaders, in law firms and in intermediary agents” , according to the Portuguese prosecution.

This “Offside operation” relating to “professional football cases carried out from 2015 and which would have involved actions intended to avoid tax payments due to the Portuguese State” , according to the public prosecutor, had led to the enforcement examination of 24 companies and 23 people, including players, agents or intermediaries, lawyers and sports managers.