Boris Becker found guilty under Insolvency Act
Boris Becker has been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of four charges under the Insolvency Act and acquitted of a further 20 counts relating to his 2017 bankruptcy.
Becker, who was supported throughout the trial by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, was declared guilty of charges including removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt.
Judge Deborah Taylor released Becker on conditional bail ahead of sentencing on April 29, when he could face a jail sentence carrying a maximum term of seven years for each count.
Becker was declared bankrupt on June 21, 2017 over an unpaid loan of more than £3m on his estate in Mallorca, Spain. He had been accused of hiding millions of pounds worth of assets, including two Wimbledon trophies, to avoid paying his debts.
The German national, who has lived in the UK since 2012, claimed he had cooperated with trustees tasked with securing his assets, even offering up his wedding ring, and had acted on expert advice.
The three-time Wimbledon champion told a jury his $50m (about £38m) career earnings were swallowed up by an expensive divorce from his first wife Barbara Becker, child maintenance payments, and “expensive lifestyle commitments”.
Becker said he was “shocked” and “embarrassed” when he was declared bankrupt.
The court was told Becker received about £950,000 from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany, which was paid into a business account used as his “piggy bank” for personal expenses.
He was found guilty of transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds to other accounts, including those of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker, the mother of his fourth child.
He was also convicted of failing to declare a property in Germany, and hiding an €825,000 (almost £700,000) bank loan and shares in a tech firm.
The 20 charges he was acquitted of included nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and medals from his tennis career.
Becker was cleared of failing to declare a second German property, as well as his interest in the £2.5m Chelsea flat occupied by his daughter Anna Ermakova.
Giving evidence, Becker said he earned a “vast amount” during his career, paying cash for a family home in Munich, a property in Miami and the estate in Mallorca, which was worth about €50m at the height of the property market.
But Becker, who went on to coach current world No 1 Novak Djokovic, work as a commentator and act as a brand ambassador for firms including Puma, said his income “reduced dramatically” following his retirement in 1999. –Skysports