Boris Becker found guilty in bankruptcy case

Former tennis star convicted in London of removal of property, failing to disclose estate and concealing debt

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in London of four charges under the Insolvency Act.

The former tennis star was convicted of removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt, and acquitted on a further 20 counts relating to his 2017 bankruptcy.

Becker, 54, a six-time Grand Slam champion, could now be sentenced to jail for transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account after his bankruptcy.

Former world number one Becker was declared bankrupt on June 21, 2017, over an unpaid loan of more than £3 million on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.

The German citizen, who has lived in the UK since 2012, claimed he had co-operated with trustees tasked with securing his assets, even offering up his wedding ring, and had acted on expert advice.

Becker, who was supported throughout the trial by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, was found guilty on four charges, including removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt.

Boris Becker leaves Southwark Crown Court. AP

He told a jury his $50 million (£38m) career earnings were swallowed up by an expensive divorce from his first wife, Barbara Becker, child maintenance payments and “expensive lifestyle commitments".

The BBC commentator received €1.13m (£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, the court was told.

He was found guilty of transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds to other accounts, including those of Barbara Becker and his estranged wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker, the mother of his fourth child.

Becker also spent about £40,000 on an ankle operation at a private clinic, paid more than £10,000 to a private jet company and splashed out £5,000 at a luxury golf resort in China.

Becker gets into a taxi after his conviction. AP

The tennis great was also convicted of failing to declare a property in Germany, and hiding an €825,000 (£700,000) bank loan and shares in a tech firm.

He was acquitted on 20 charges, including nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and medals from his tennis career.

During the trial, he had told jurors he did not know the whereabouts of the memorabilia, including two of his three Wimbledon men's singles trophies.

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.

Boris Becker through the years - in pictures

He said he earned a “vast amount” during his career, paying cash for a family home in Munich, a property in Miami, Florida, and the estate in Mallorca, which was worth about €50m at the height of the property market.

Aside from his stellar tennis career, he also coached current world number one Novak Djokovic, worked as a commentator and acted as a brand ambassador for firms including Puma. Despite this, he said his income “reduced dramatically” following his retirement in 1999.

Becker, who was a resident of Monte Carlo and Switzerland before moving to the UK, said he had “expensive lifestyle commitments”, including a £22,000-a-month rented house in Wimbledon, south-west London.

Judge Deborah Taylor released Becker on conditional bail before sentencing on April 29, when he could face a jail sentence carrying a maximum term of seven years for each count.

Updated: April 08, 2022, 3:54 PM
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