Boris Becker guilty of four bankruptcy-related charges, court finds | UK News

0

Boris Becker could face jail for transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account after his bankruptcy.

The three-time Wimbledon champion, 54, was found guilty of four counts under insolvency law in relation to his bankruptcy in 2017, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

He was acquitted of 20 other counts on Friday.

The six-time Grand Slam winner has been accused of hiding millions of pounds in assets, including two Wimbledon trophies, to avoid paying his debts.

Picture:
Becker arrives in court with partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro on Friday, April 8

Becker said he was “shocked” and “embarrassed” after being declared bankrupt on June 21, 2017, over an unpaid loan of more than £3million on his property in Mallorca, Spain.

The German national, who has lived in the UK since 2012, insisted he had cooperated with trustees to secure his assets, even offering his wedding ring.

He said he acted on expert advice from advisers who managed his life, the court heard.

But jurors found Becker guilty of four counts under insolvency law, including removal of assets, concealment of debts and two of non-disclosure of estate.

He was supported throughout the proceedings by his partner, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro and his eldest son, Noah.

Becker was released on bail ahead of his sentencing, which is due April 29.

He could face a prison sentence of up to seven years on each count.

Business account used as a “piggy bank” for personal expenses

Becker claimed his $50m (around £38m) in career earnings was spent on a costly divorce from first wife Barbara Becker, child support and “expensive lifestyle commitments “.

The court heard he received around €1.13m (about £950,000) from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany – which was paid into a business account described as a “piggy bank” used for personal expenses.

Boris Becker won Wimbledon in 1985. Photo: AP
Picture:
Boris Becker pictured winning Wimbledon in 1985. Photo: AP

He transferred hundreds of thousands of pounds to other accounts, including his ex-wife Barbara and the mother of his fourth child, ex-wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.

Becker also spent €48,000 (around £40,000) on ankle surgery at a private clinic, as well as €12,500 (over £10,000) on a private jet company and €6,000 (around £5,000 £) at a luxury golf resort in China.

He was also found guilty of failing to declare property in Germany and concealing an €825,000 (nearly £700,000) bank loan and shares in a technology company.

Of the 20 charges of which he was cleared, nine related to the fact of not having presented the trophies and medals of his sports career.

He said he did not know where the memorabilia was, including two of his three Wimbledon men’s singles trophies.

Trophies include the 1985 title that shot him to stardom at the age of 17.

Former tennis player Boris Becker leaves with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro and son Noah Becker after his misdemeanor bankruptcy trial at Southwark Crown Court in London, Britain April 8, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra
Picture:
Becker was supported during his trial by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro and his son Noah

Other awards include his 1992 Olympic gold medal, the 1991 and 1996 Australian Open trophies, the 1985 and 1989 President’s Cup, his 1989 Davis Cup trophy and a gold coin. Davis Cup gold won in 1988.

Becker was also cleared of failing to declare a second German ownership, as well as his interest in the £2.5million Chelsea flat occupied by his daughter Anna Ermakova – designed during the sportsman’s infamous encounter with waitress Angela Ermakova at London restaurant Nobu in 1999.

Career money gobbled up by ‘expensive lifestyle’

Giving evidence, Becker, who resided in Monte Carlo and Switzerland before moving to the UK, told how he accumulated a huge amount of money during his career.

But the money “diminished considerably” after his retirement in 1999.

Becker – who later coached current world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic and worked as an ambassador for brands such as Puma – said his expensive lifestyle commitments included a £22,000-a-month rented house at Wimbledon , southwest of London.

He also owed millions to Swiss authorities for a tax evasion conviction and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002.

bad publicity had damaged the “Becker brand”, he said – leaving him to struggle to earn enough money to pay off his debts.

At the time of his bankruptcy, Becker’s QC, Jonathan Laidlaw, said he was overly “trusting and dependent” on his advisers.

Share.

Comments are closed.