Boris Becker sentenced to two and a half years in prison

The former tennis star was notably found guilty of having hidden 2.5 million pounds sterling.

Former world tennis No. 1 Boris Becker was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Friday by British courts for financial offenses related to his personal bankruptcy. Aged 54, Boris Becker will be imprisoned after being found guilty in particular of having hidden 2.5 million pounds sterling (3 million euros at the current rate) in assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.

Declared in personal bankruptcy in 2017, Boris Becker is sentenced on four counts: one count of withdrawal of property, two of non-disclosure of property and one of concealment of debt. The six-time Grand Slam winner, who has lived in the UK since 2012, was found guilty on April 8 by London’s Southwark Crown Court of concealing or illicitly transferring hundreds of thousands of euros and pounds sterling for not settling his debts after being declared bankrupt. He is notably accused of having transferred hundreds of thousands of pounds sterling from a professional account to other accounts, in particular those of his ex-wives, of not having declared property in Germany and of having hidden a loan. of 825,000 euros and shares in a company.

Boris Becker arrived Friday morning in a London taxi at the court, walking hand in hand with his companion Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, before returning to the building. Serious-faced, he wore a purple and green tie, the colors of Wimbledon, while his eldest son, Noah, 28, entered with a sports bag. Twenty years ago, he was given a suspended prison sentence in Germany after a dispute with the tax authorities.

Bankruptcy and embarrassment

During the trial in London, prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley accused him of using a professional account as a “piggy bankfor everyday expenses or school fees for his children. Boris Becker, who disputes all the charges, was acquitted of twenty other counts, including those relating to the disappearance of his trophies. He had assured the hearing that he did not know where they were.

Among the nine accolades creditors would have liked to get their hands on are two of his three Wimbledon cups, two Australian Open trophies and his doubles gold medal at the 1992 Olympics. of tennis indicated during the trial which was held from March 21 to April 8 to still have in his possession “a lotof awards and memorabilia amassed in 15 years on the circuit, but some have disappeared. He had already sold part of his awards at auction for 700,000 pounds (840,000 euros) in order to pay off part of his debts. At the time of his bankruptcy, his debts were estimated at up to 50 million pounds sterling (59 million euros).

Tarnished “Becker brand”

The announcement of his bankruptcy came a few days before the Wimbledon tournament, on which the first German player to have won a Grand Slam title was working for the BBC and Australian and Japanese television. At the hearing, he told how much he had beenshocked by the situation». «It was all over the news, I walked through the gates of Wimbledon and everyone knew. I was embarrassed because I was bankrupt“, he had declared. According to him, his bankruptcy and his treatment in the media have undermined the “marque Beckerso much so that he then had difficulty repaying his debts.

This case is not the first for Boris Becker, a restless sportsman, who had lived in Monaco and Switzerland before settling in England. He has already had legal setbacks for unpaid debts with Spanish justice, concerning work in his villa in Majorca, and with Swiss justice, for not having paid the pastor who had married him in 2009. In 2002, the German justice had sentenced him to a two-year suspended prison sentence as well as a fine of 500,000 euros for some 1.7 million euros in tax arrears.

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