Tennis great Boris Becker sentenced to two and a half years in prison for bankruptcy charges | CBC Sports

Tennis great Boris Becker was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Friday for illicitly transferring large amounts of money and hiding assets after he filed for bankruptcy.

The three-time Wimbledon champion was convicted earlier this month of four counts under the Insolvency Act and faced a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Judge Deborah Taylor announced the sentence after hearing arguments from both the prosecutor and Becker’s attorney. She told the former top-ranked player that she has shown no remorse.

“While I accept his humiliation as part of the procedure, there has been no humility,” Taylor said.

Becker must serve at least 15 months before he is eligible for release.

The 54-year-old German was found to have transferred hundreds of thousands of pounds after his bankruptcy in June 2017 from his business account to other accounts, including those of his ex-wife Barbara and his ex-wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.

Becker was also convicted of failing to declare property in Germany and concealing an 825,000-euro (about $1.12 million) bank loan and shares in a technology company.

The jury at Southwark Crown Court in London acquitted him of a further 20 charges, including charges that he failed to deliver his many awards, including two Wimbledon trophies and an Olympic gold medal.

He denied all charges

Becker, wearing a purple and green Wimbledon striped tie, entered the courtroom hand-in-hand with his girlfriend Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.

The six-time Grand Slam champion has denied all charges, saying he cooperated with trustees charged with securing his assets, including by offering his wedding ring, and acted on expert advice.

At Friday’s sentencing hearing, prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said Becker had acted “deliberately and dishonestly” and was “still looking to blame others.”

Defense attorney Jonathan Laidlaw argued for leniency, saying his client had not spent money on a “lavish lifestyle,” but rather on child support, rent, and legal and business expenses. Becker, he told the court, has experienced “public humiliation” and has no future earnings potential.

The judge said Becker’s two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002 was “a significant aggravating factor” in his decision on Friday. She said he “didn’t heed the warning” and the opportunity for that suspended sentence.

Becker’s bankruptcy was due to a loan of 4.6 million euros (about $6.2 million) from a private bank in 2013, as well as a loan of about $1.6 million from a businessman. British the following year, according to testimonies at the trial.

During the trial, Becker said the $50 million he earned in his U.S. career had been swallowed up by payments from an “expensive divorce” and debt when he lost much of his income after retirement.

Becker shot to stardom in 1985 at the age of 17 when he became the first unseeded player to win the Wimbledon singles title and later rose to No. 1 in the rankings. He has lived in Britain since 2012.

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