Imprisonment for tennis legend? decision within the next few hours

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Boris Becker was found guilty of four charges of delaying insolvency – his prison sentence could be announced today at. 13.00 CEST.

Imprisonment for Boris Becker? “There is no mercy in Britain at all for bankruptcy fraud like this”

Update from April 29 at 9:45: Journalist Vanessa Blumhagen announces her gloomy prognosis in today’s trial against tennis legend Boris Becker on Saturday 1. “Frühstücksfernsehen”. “Legal experts who are really familiar with the Anglo-American legal system say: There is absolutely no mercy for such bankruptcy fraudsters in the UK,” explains the VIP expert. The moderator expects a prison sentence for Becker.

Becker has another problem: The six-time Grand Slam winner is said to have disturbed the referee in charge with his style. “The referee really has a hate cap on Boris Becker because he was not understanding at all, because he always behaved as if it did not affect him and also showed arrogance,” the 44-year-old says.

Blumhagen refers to the bankruptcy process that Becker should have delayed. “The point is, he did not mention that he still has a house, that he transferred money to the ex-wives after they filed for bankruptcy,” the presenter explains. Becker claims to have known nothing about it. His lawyer portrays him as a confused man who had no overview of his finances.

Update from April 29 at 8:55: Fateful day for a tennis legend: In the criminal case against Boris Becker, the verdict is awaited in suspense today (13.00 CEST).

The former exceptional athlete could theoretically risk several years in prison because he had not disclosed assets worth more than a million euros in his bankruptcy proceedings. Three weeks ago, a jury found Becker guilty of several charges. However, he can still appeal afterwards – both over the guilt and over the verdict. The 54-year-old had denied the allegations.

The lay judges at London’s Southwark Crown Court, on the other hand, had concluded that Becker had hidden a property in his hometown of Leimen, illegally transferred large sums to other accounts and hidden shares in an artificial intelligence company. Judge Deborah Taylor decides on the punishment against the German. In May 2019, the same judge sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for violating his bail conditions.

Legal experts are also unclear as to what punishment Becker is now threatened with. Observers are confident Judge Taylor will not impose the maximum sentence of seven years. That Becker should be remanded in custody is assumed to be quite likely.

Boris Becker: Prosecutor and guilty verdict

The public prosecutor had filed a total of 24 charges against Becker. Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley found it proven that he had deliberately concealed several possessions and now blamed his advisers who he said had handled his finances. The tennis legend’s defender had said his client was naive but innocent. The jury followed this argument in 20 points, also when it came to the issue of missing trophies.

But the four-point guilty verdict may be enough to fundamentally change Becker’s life. “This verdict is a clear warning to those who think they can hide their wealth and get away with it. You will be investigated and prosecuted,” the bankruptcy authority said.

Becker, who lives in London, was declared bankrupt in 2017. After that, he had to disclose his assets to the insolvency administrators – but according to the jury, he omitted important parts.

Boris Becker: Wimbledon millions and maintenance costs

The triple Wimbledon winner had amassed around $ 25 million in prize money over the course of his career and earned, according to his own estimates, around the same amount on advertising. However, he ran into financial problems. In court, Becker blamed the expensive divorce from ex-wife Barbara and high maintenance costs for daughter Anna Ermakowa.

Becker comments on tennis tournaments for the BBC and is very popular among the British. His partner Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro accompanied him to court every day, most recently his eldest son Noah was also by his side.

Becker also received encouragement from other celebrities. “Boris did not peel off poor grandmothers,” said entertainer Thomas Gottschalk after the sentencing of the newspaper “Bild”. At worst, “a couple of rich financiers who wanted to adorn themselves with the fame of the tennis idol became a little poorer.” “My sympathy for them is limited,” “Bild” quoted the 71-year-old Gottschalk.

First report from April 28 at 16.15: When Boris Becker was convicted of tax evasion in Munich 20 years ago, he escaped with a black eye. The court left it with two years probation and a fine. In the process of his adopted home in London to delay insolvency, observers now consider a prison sentence for the German tennis icon to be possible. Earlier this month, Becker was found guilty of four out of 24 charges, and the verdict is set to be announced on Friday.

The 54-year-old has achieved world fame and wealth with legendary victories at Wimbledon and other major tennis tournaments. But the German lost his fortune – and must have repeatedly violated the law in the insolvency proceedings initiated for this reason.

Boris Becker: At what points was the tennis legend found guilty?

A jury at Southwark Crown Court in London found him guilty of one case of removal of property, two cases of failure to disclose property and one case of concealment of debt. Although only a partially guilty verdict, Becker risks up to seven years in prison, according to British media.

According to the judgment, Leimener did not fully comply with its disclosure obligations. These were property in Germany, shares in a technology company and a bank loan of 825,000 euros. According to the jury, Becker also transferred large sums to the accounts of his ex-wives Barbara and Lilly Becker.

Boris Becker arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London. © IMAGO / WIktor Szymanowicz

In June 2017, a bankruptcy court in London declared the triple Wimbledon champion bankrupt due to outstanding debts. Becker’s outstanding debt was estimated at up to £ 50 million (€ 59 million) at the time.

Becker, who won six Grand Slam tournaments in his sports career, has repeatedly had legal difficulties with money matters. The Spanish judiciary charged Becker with debts related to his villa in Mallorca, and the Swiss judiciary for allegedly not paying the priest who married him in 2009.

In 2002, Becker was sentenced in Munich to two years probation and a fine of 500,000 euros for tax evasion of about 1.7 million euros. This process, as well as malice over several failed relationships with the sports star, contributed to “Bumm-Bumm-Boris”‘s relationship with his native Germany cooling off, and he chose London as his place of residence.

Insolvency proceedings: Becker denies allegations

Becker denies that he has again violated applicable laws in insolvency proceedings in the UK. The trial in London involved several trophies that he is said to have withheld, including the trophy for his first Wimbledon victory in 1985, when he was only 17 years old. More than 80 other Becker items, including trophies, tennis rackets, photos, watches and a “Bambi”, were auctioned off until July 2019.

With a proceeds of around 765,000 euros, only a fraction of Becker’s debt was settled. In November 2019, it was decreed that the tennis legend should bow to the insolvency claims of the British authorities for twelve more years. The extension of the measure until October 16, 2031, is intended to prevent “Mr. Becker from causing further damage to his creditors,” the responsible insolvency authority explained at the time.

For Becker, his insolvency and its consequences are a hard blow. In court, he said he was “shocked” and “ashamed” of his bankruptcy. He and his lawyer painted a picture of him as a man who had lost track of his possessions and expenses.

At least Becker does not have to go through this alone. His partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro accompanied him regularly in court. Becker’s eldest son Noah was also by his side. Should Judge Deborah Taylor send Boris Becker to jail on Friday, he will definitely need the support of his loved ones.

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