Boris Becker used business account as 'piggy bank' to shop at Harrods and pay school fees

Ex-tennis star denies 24 charges at London court

Former Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker outside Southwark Crown Court in London. AP

Former tennis great Boris Becker used his business account as a personal “piggy bank” to pay his children's school fees and buy designer clothes, a court in London has heard.

Becker, who commentated for the BBC at Wimbledon last year, is on trial at Southwark Crown Court charged with offences relating to his June 2017 bankruptcy over a £3.5 million ($4.6m) loan from private bank Arbuthnot Latham for a property in Mallorca, Spain.

He is alleged to have hidden £950,000 from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany, which had been paid into his Boris Becker Private Office (BBPOL) account.

“It is the prosecution case that Mr Becker used the BBPOL sterling account as an extension of his own account, effectively as his own piggy bank, for everyday personal expenses such as school fees for the children and such like,” prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said.

She said payments in 2017 included £643 to Polo Ralph Lauren, £7,600 for school fees, £976 to Harrods and more than £1,000 to Ocado.

Ms Chalkley told jurors that Becker had paid his ex-wife Barbara Becker £19,000, estranged wife Sharlely 'Lilly' Becker £83,000 and transferred £225,000 to a friend.

Boris Becker and Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro arriving at court in London. AP

He also transferred £249,000 to his own account, while other funds went into an account he held jointly with his son Noah, the court heard.

Becker allegedly failed to hand over various trophies, including the 1985 Wimbledon trophy — which catapulted him from an unknown 17 year old to an international star — his two Australian Open trophies and his 1992 Olympic gold medal.

He is also accused of concealing more than £1.3m and failed to disclose two properties in Germany and a flat in Chelsea, west London.

He denies the 24 charges made against him under the Insolvency Act, which include nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and other awards and seven counts of concealing property.

Becker, who won 49 singles titles out of 77 finals during his 16 years as a professional, is being supported in court by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.

The trial continues.

Updated: March 22, 2022, 1:13 PM