Legendary Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been jailed for two and a half years for hiding £2.5million in assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.
The 54-year-old former world No. Spain.
BBC commentator Becker transferred almost 427,000 euros (about £390,000) from his business account to others, including those of his ex-wife Barbara and ex-wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker.
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The father-of-four also failed to declare his share in a £1million property in his home town of Leimen, Germany, hid a bank loan of 825,000 euros (nearly £700,000) – d worth £1.1million with interest – and hid 75,000 shares in a technology company, valued at £66,000.
Becker, who received a two-year suspended prison sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion worth 1.7 million euros (about £1.4 million) in Germany in 2002, has was convicted of four offenses under the insolvency law between June 21 and October 3, 2017 earlier this month.
Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced the six-time Grand Slam singles champion to two and a half years in prison, half of which he will serve, at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.
Referring to his previous conviction, the judge said: “You did not consider the warning given to you and the chance given to you by the suspended sentence and that is a significant aggravating factor. “
She told Becker, “I take into account what has been described as your fall from grace.
“You lost your career and your reputation and all of your assets as a result of your bankruptcy.”
But she added: “You did not show remorse, accept your guilt and seek to distance yourself from your offense and your bankruptcy.
“Although I accept your humiliation as part of the process, there was no humility.”
Becker, dressed in a striped tie in purple and green Wimbledon colors, showed no emotion before being led away to the cells.
He arrived earlier holding hands with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, while his eldest son Noah was also in court.
After retirement, Becker coached current men’s world number one Novak Djokovic, worked as a television sports commentator for broadcasters such as the BBC and acted as a brand ambassador for companies such as Puma.
His lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw QC said the tennis star’s “fall from grace” was “the most public humiliation”.
“Boris Becker has literally nothing and there is nothing to show for what has been sport’s most illustrious career and it is correctly characterized as nothing less than a tragedy,” he said. declared.
“These procedures have completely destroyed his career and ruined any other prospect of earning an income.
“His reputation is in tatters. He will not be able to find work and will have to rely on the charity of others if he is to survive.”
Becker told jurors his US$50m (about £38m) career earnings had been eaten up by a costly divorce from first wife Barbara, child support and “lifestyle commitments expensive”.
The German national, who has lived in the UK since 2012, said he was “shocked” and “embarrassed” when he was declared bankrupt.
He claimed to have cooperated with administrators responsible for securing his assets, even offering his wedding ring, and to have relied on the advisers who managed his life.
However, Becker was found guilty of four counts, including removal of property, two counts of non-disclosure of estate and concealment of debts.
Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said the jury found he acted “deliberately and dishonestly”, but added: “Even now, Mr. Becker still seeks to blame others when it was clearly his duty.”
The court heard he received €1.13m (about £950,000) from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany into a business account used as his ‘piggy bank’ for his expenses personal.
They included £7,600 of the children’s school fees, nearly £1,000 at Harrods and payments made to Ralph Lauren, Porsche, Ocado and a Chelsea children’s club.
He also paid 48,000 euros (about £40,000) for ankle surgery at a private clinic in Switzerland and spent 6,000 euros (about £5,000) at a luxury golf resort in China, the court heard.
Becker was acquitted of 20 counts, including nine counts of not presenting trophies and medals from his tennis career.
He said he didn’t know where the memories were, including the 1985 Wimbledon title that shot him to stardom at the age of 17.
Becker was also cleared of failing to declare a second German property, as well as his interest in the £2.5million Chelsea flat occupied by his daughter Anna Ermakova, which was conceived during the sexual encounter of Becker with waitress Angela Ermakova at London restaurant Nobu in 1999.
Mr Laidlaw said Becker did not spend money on a ‘lavish lifestyle’, but used funds to pay child support, lawyers, business expenses and rent.
“He was in dire financial straits and what he essentially did was exercise his own choice as to which creditors to pay, choosing or preferring my funds to dependents rather than allowing joint administrators to determine how these funds should be applied,” he added.
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