“Sport Lisbon, Benfica Futebol, SAD hereby announce that the company has been accused of tax evasion,” said the statement, which was picked up by Portuguese media. “the members who were part of its board of directors”, and another “still in office has also been charged with the same offence, as well as forging documents”.
According to Expresso, a Portuguese newspaper that revealed the information on Tuesday, the president of Benfica between 2003 and 2021, Luis Felipe Vieira, and the current director of Benfica’s club management company SAD, Domingo Soares de Oliveira, are among the main suspects. individually, along with SAD Benfica and SA Benfica Estadio.
The fraud would concern the development of fictitious contracts with the IT company, which would have made it possible to extract sums of up to 1.6 million euros from the club’s coffers. The Public Prosecutor’s Office “only confirms the existence of an investigation (…) relating to facts likely to constitute the crime of tax evasion.”
Luis Felipe Vieira had resigned as Benfica’s president in 2021. He had been arrested on July 7 on suspicion of breach of trust, fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, and left his position as club and SAD president on July 15. He was succeeded by former Portuguese international Rui Costa at the helm of Lisbon.
At the top of the Portuguese championship, Benfica will host Club Brugge on March 7 in the second leg of the Champions League knockout rounds. The Eagles won the first leg 0-2 at the Jan Bredel Stadium.