Former Brazilian national team star Ronaldinho is celebrating his 40th birthday today, in a Paraguay prison, after he and his brother were arrested recently for carrying false passports.
Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto de Assis were arrested on March 6, and they were staying in a maximum security prison in Paraguay after entering the country with false passports, to participate in a number of promotional activities.
Some reports indicate that Ronaldinho lost all of his money, in 2018, and he only had 6 euros in his balance, due to his brother Roberto, who has become an agent of his business since the beginning of his professional career, and Roberto enjoyed complete freedom to dispose of and invest in financial matters at his discretion.
The brother of the Brazilian football legend carried out a number of frauds, as he was subjected to a suspended prison sentence of five years in 2012, after the court proved that he had transferred money from Italy in the amount of $ 850,000 in 2003 and 2004 from the Brazilian Central Bank, in addition to So, Roberto had bank accounts in Switzerland, which were not reported to the tax office.
Magic turned against the magician
Ronaldinho, a former Barcelona player, was able to make the crowd of his traditional rivals Real Madrid “Santiago Bernabeu” stand on his feet to applaud him, but although the Brazilian was also able to dodge – even his shadow – over the green rectangle, he was not so off the field, He did not have the same success in evading the law.
According to the Spanish newspaper “AS”, the arrest of Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto in Paraguay has exposed a corruption network in this country that has resulted in the imprisonment of 15 other people accused of tax evasion, money laundering and making forged documents, which led to the judge rejecting three requests for conditional release or residency Arbitration by his lawyers, where the judge holds that there is “a great fear of his flight from the country”, and that Ronaldinho should remain in prison because “his freedom could jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.”
Today, Saturday, March 21, 2020, the football legend celebrates its 40th year, but not next to his family and friends, but from within the walls of the Civil Police prison in Ascension.
Indeed, if Ronaldinho had shocked many people from all over the world with the chaos he had caused in Paraguay, the situation in Brazil was similar, as he and his brother had fought various legal battles over the past years.
In southern Brazil, where his family is based, there are 8 lawsuits against him and his brother Roberto, including millions in tax debt, as well as rents and fees from unpaid real estate communities and luxury commercial buildings.
Among the Brazilian precedents, it was in November 2019, where there was a class action lawsuit against the former player and five other partners of “18K Ronaldinho”, accused of alleged hierarchical fraud that promised profits of up to 2% per day by investing in a cryptocurrency, and about 800 investors They reported losses of approximately € 65 million, and the company did not have a record with the Convertible Securities Commission (CVM), which governs the investment market in Brazil.
And this is not the first time that Ronaldinho participated in a financial fraud, in 2014 his name was associated with another digital currency investment company “Panela FC”, which CVM ordered to close a year later on the basis of irregularities in the system in use. Ronaldinho had to pay more than two million euros in fines for four lawsuits over environmental crimes, his passport was seized and 57 properties were seized.
During this case, the Office of the Prosecutor interfered in his financial accounts and found that he possessed only 5 million euros, despite being on the list of the richest footballers in the world with a accumulated wealth of about 83 million euros, according to the “Forbes” magazine, the global financial statistics, in 2015.
“It was his (Ronaldinhos) only mistake to use a false passport, even if he had done it in good faith,” attorney Sergio Keyrouz said by phone from Asuncion, stressing that Ronaldinho believed that the passports “were a gift issued legally and he accepted the documents because he received Spanish citizenship at a later time, and did not imagine that it was fraudulent and was aimed at making investments in Paraguay. ”
For the time being, Ronaldinhos lawyer hopes that an investigation into the case will clear him of the charges against him and enable him to pay “the specified fine for possession of false passports and get out of prison as soon as possible.” But the problem is that closing the borders between the country and suspending the activities of the justice system due to the outbreak of the emerging coronavirus coronavirus, makes the process take more time, which the lawyer described as “very harmful”.
Thus, Ronaldinho remains at the mercy of what dictates justice and will spend his fortieth birthday out of the limelight without fame or joy, but behind bars inside the prison.