Among the approximately 85 cases to which Ronaldinho responds, 30 of them refer to IPTU debts that the player has accumulated over the last four years. According to the Porto Alegre City Hall, a farm in the Restinga neighborhood has R$5.7 million in IPTU unpaid since 2018.
The Municipal Attorney General’s Office is responsible for bringing enforcement actions against Ronaldinho — an enforcement takes place when the debtor does not pay his debt, and the creditor goes to court to get the money. The city of Porto Alegre sued the athlete in 2019, when it reached an agreement in which Ronaldinho promised to pay R$7.49 million over five years. This debt was for the years 2018 and 2019. With the agreement made, Ronaldinho paid some installments, but delayed others and added taxes for the years 2020 and 2021 to the amount due. In total, the former player owes BRL 5,754. 077.28.
In addition to the ranch in Restinga, Ronaldinho and his brother own another property in the city, this one on the shores of Lake Guaíba. In 2018, the Public Ministry of Rio Grande do Sul fined the brothers for carrying out works in an environmental protection area. As the fine was not paid, the prosecution managed to get the police to seize the brothers’ passports, which caused embarrassment to the duo. In 2020, Ronaldinho was stopped at Guarulhos airport (SP) and was unable to board to Dubai, where he had a commercial commitment.
Ronaldinho and Assis paid the debt and recovered their passports. But in March 2020, the gaucho wrote another chapter in his extensive court record. For entering Paraguay with false documents, he ended up in prison for seven months in Asunción.
It was also at this time that lawsuits for moral and material damages against the player began to pop up in court because of his involvement with the company 18k Ronaldinho. The “Multi-Level Marketing” business promised customers easy, risk-free profit on their invested capital. To give you an idea, a person who invested his money in the stock market, a high-risk investment, would have a yield of 2.92% throughout 2020. 18k Ronaldinho promised a yield of 2% per day. In addition to lending his name to the company, Ronaldinho took part in marketing activities and opened the doors of his house in Rio de Janeiro to attract clients.
Earlier that year, hundreds of customers had their money blocked by the company, whose owners disappeared. A barber from Mogi das Cruzes (SP) who had invested BRL 204,000 in the company went to court to recover the money and charge another BRL 204,000 in moral damages. The process is still at a standstill until today because the Court was unable to locate Ronaldinho and the other people identified as partners in the business.
“Ronaldinho Gaúcho was only found at a business address, but the judge did not accept this citation because it was received by third parties,” said lawyer Sabrina Blaustein, who defends the barber in Mogi das Cruzes. “The judge requested the summons by a bailiff, and due to being in another state, we still have the bureaucracy and slowness of the judiciary. That is, until now he has not been summoned by a bailiff.”
The case also reached the criminal sphere, in which the Public Ministry of São Paulo investigates those responsible for the company on suspicion of having committed crimes against the popular economy. O UOL Esporte found that the investigation is in the final stage at the Barueri prosecutor’s office, in the metropolitan region of São Paulo.
The report contacted lawyer Sérgio Queiroz, who defends Ronaldinho, but he preferred not to comment on the lawsuits against his client.