Star soccer agent Zahavi charged in fraud investigation

BRUSSELS (AP) — Influential soccer agent Pini Zahavi has been charged in Belgium as part of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing at second-division club Royal Excelsior Mouscron, the federal prosecutor’s office said Friday.

The office confirmed Zahavi’s indictment following reports in the Belgian press that the 78-year-old former journalist had been charged by an investigating judge with “forgery, use of forgeries, swindling and money laundering” in the Mouscron case.

The club was placed under provisional administration two years ago because of suspicions of money laundering and was later charged.

According to local media, Belgian prosecutors suspect Zahavi, who took over the club in 2015, of illegally financing Mouscron through offshore companies.

The club is currently owned by businessman Gerard Lopez.

Zahavi is one of the most influential agents in world soccer. He was involved in the transfers of many star players, including Neymar’s record move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

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