Boris Becker wears Wimbledon colors in court as he awaits bankruptcy ruling

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has arrived on court wearing a tie in the colors of the tennis tournament as he faces a sentence for concealing assets and loans worth £2.5m to avoid paying his debts.

he former world number one, 54, filed for bankruptcy on June 21, 2017, owing creditors nearly £50m, for an unpaid loan of more than £3m on his property in Mallorca , Spain.

BBC commentator Becker transferred nearly €427,000 (around £390,000) from his business account to others, including those of his ex-wife Barbara Becker and his ex-wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.

The father-of-four also failed to disclose his stake in a £1million estate in his hometown of Leimen, Germany, concealing a €825,000 (nearly £700,000) bank loan, worth £1.1million with interest. , and hid 75,000 shares. at a technology firm, valued at £66,000.

Becker, who received a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion worth €1.7 million (about £1.4 million) in Germany in 2002, was found guilty of four offenses under the Insolvency Law between June 21 and October 3, 2017. earlier this month.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and Judge Deborah Taylor will sentence the six-time Grand Slam champion at Southwark Crown Court on Friday afternoon.

Becker, wearing a purple and green Wimbledon striped tie, arrived on court hand in hand with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, while his eldest son Noah carried a large Puma bag.

The tennis star told the jury his career earnings of US$50m (around £38m) were swallowed up by a costly divorce from his first wife Barbara, child support payments and “expensive lifestyle commitments”. “.

The German national, who has lived in the UK since 2012, said he was “shocked” and “embarrassed” when he was declared bankrupt.

He claimed that he had cooperated with the trustees charged with securing his assets, including by offering his wedding ring, and trusted the advisers who managed his life.

However, Becker was found guilty on four counts, including removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose the estate and concealing the debt.

Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said Friday that the jury found he acted “willfully and dishonestly” but added: “Even now, Mr. Becker still seeks to blame others when it was obviously his duty.”

The court heard that he received €1.13 million (around £950,000) from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany in a business account used as his “piggy bank” for his personal expenses.

They included £7,600 in children’s school fees, nearly £1,000 at Harrods and payments made to Ralph Lauren, Porsche, Ocado and a Chelsea kids’ club.

He also paid €48,000 (about £40,000) for ankle surgery at a private clinic and spent €6,000 (about £5,000) at a luxury golf course in China, the court heard.

Becker was acquitted of 20 charges, including nine counts of failing to deliver trophies and medals from his tennis career.

He said he did not know the whereabouts of the memorabilia, including the 1985 Wimbledon title that catapulted him to stardom at age 17.

Becker was also cleared of failing to declare a second German property, as well as his interest in the £2.5 million Chelsea flat occupied by his daughter Anna Ermakova, which was conceived during Becker’s infamous sexual encounter with barmaid Angela Ermakova. at Nobu restaurant in London in 1999. .

Jonathan Laidlaw QC, defending, said Becker had not spent money on a “lavish lifestyle” but instead used the funds to pay child support, lawyers, business expenses and rent.

He added: “He was in dire financial straits and essentially what he has done is exercise his own choice as to which creditors to pay, choosing or preferring to pay money to dependents rather than allowing the joint trustees to determine how it should be paid. pay that money. applied.”

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