Portugal Accuses Brazilian Football Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari Of Tax Evasion
Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup finals next month have been placed "further under a cloud" after Brazil Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was "accused of tax evasion in Portugal," according to Keeley & Gardner of the LONDON TIMES. The Portuguese government confirmed on Wednesday that it had "launched a criminal investigation into alleged tax evasion by Scolari, dating back to his spell in charge of Portugal" from '03-08. The Portuguese government said that Scolari earned €7.4M from "image rights in that period but the Brazil coach insists it was just €255,000." Scolari is "also under suspicion of money laundering" involving companies in the Netherlands, U.K., Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands. Scolari said, "I have correctly filed all my tax returns. In all the countries where I've worked, I've always declared my income. If anything is wrong, it's not my fault. I hope justice gets to the bottom of the facts." The Portuguese attorney general’s office said that "the department for criminal investigation and prosecution has opened an inquiry into Scolari but it would not provide any further details." Officials refused to "say what the investigation is about as investigations in Portugal fall under the country's judicial secrecy law" (LONDON TIMES, 5/14). The EFE reported the Portuguese government "asked for collaboration from the U.S. and requested information about the deposits and beneficiaries from a series of bank transfers supposedly involving Scolari and one of his children" (EFE, 5/14). EL PAIS reported the Portuguese government's document "requesting collaboration from the U.S." said, "If this is confirmed, the conduct of Luiz Felipe Scolari will probably be considered fiscal fraud and money laundering." Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported that "the combined penalties for each infraction could total a 17-year prison sentence" (EL PAIS, 5/13).