The jury at Southwark Crown Court in London found Boris Becker guilty a few weeks ago. Today, the ex-tennis star will find out if he risks jail time. Attorney Patrick Jacobshagen considers it likely that Becker will be jailed.
Following the guilty verdict of Boris Becker (54) in the London criminal case, the nail-biter continues for the ex-tennis legend. On April 29, the 54-year-old finds out if he should go to jail for having hidden parts of his assets in his bankruptcy proceedings – and if so, for how long.
The jury at Southwark Crown Court found him guilty of four out of 24 counts. The former tennis star is said not to have revealed payments to his ex-wives Lilly (45) and Barbara Becker (55), a property in Becker’s hometown of Leimen and shares in an artificial intelligence company.
The four charges in detail:
- Between 22 June 2017 and 28 September 2017, Becker must have made transfers of 426,930.90 euros – including to his two ex-wives. At that time, bankruptcy proceedings were already pending against him.
- According to the indictment, Becker did not tell the insolvency authorities that he owned a property with the address “Im Schilling” in Leimen.
- A mortgage loan from Bank Alpinum in Liechtenstein, which Becker mortgaged his house “Im Schilling”, is said to be at 825,000 euros. Information he apparently withheld.
- Becker is said to have hidden during bankruptcy proceedings that he owns 75,000 shares in Breaking Data Corp, an artificial intelligence company.
Boris Becker: Expert assesses prison sentences as “very likely”
As legal expert Patrick Jacobshagen explains, the points on which Becker was found guilty are difficult. “These are the main charges, ie the concealment of property rights and assets,” he said in an interview with FOCUS Online. As a lawyer, he represents artists, directors, actors and writers, among others.
The legal systems of the United Kingdom and Germany are different. “With this offense, however, they are quite uniform,” says expert Jacobshagen. “Anyone who makes false statements about their assets as an insolvent person should expect high fines.” He also stresses: “Anglo-American law, here British law, is considered harsh.”
Against this background, Jacobshagen considers a prison sentence to be “very likely”. “You can get a few years in prison for that. Three to four years, according to other colleagues up to five. The maximum sentence of seven years, on the other hand, is rarely imposed. ” The lawyer, however, doubts that such a prison sentence would be conditional ahead of time. Like Becker would be arrested right away. “It’s actually only normal when there is a risk of escape and acts of violence.”
Four-point guilty verdict could change Becker’s life forever
Becker has so far enjoyed his freedom in London. He commented on BBC tennis and continued – unlike in Germany – to be very popular with the British. During the three-week process, he always denied allegations that he had hidden parts of his assets in his insolvency proceedings and blamed his advisers.
His defense attorney said the 54-year-old was naive but innocent. Relying on advisors is not a crime. In 20 out of 24 points, the jury followed this line of thinking. But the four-point guilty verdict may be enough to 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.
“Appealing a judgment from the Crown Court is not easy”
According to observers, Becker followed the verdict in early April with a red head. The tennis star also knows that nothing less than his own freedom is at stake for him. On April 29, he finds out if he is actually going to jail.
Becker can appeal the decision with his lawyers. “But it is not easy against a judgment from a so-called British Crown Court,” says Jacobshagen. “In fact, there must be massive errors in the verdict. It must be found and proven. “In addition, there would be terrible costs:” British lawyers are highly paid, “says the legal expert.
Should Becker actually serve a prison sentence, he could be temporarily detained at Wandsworth Prison in south London, as “Spiegel” reports. It should be known as a facility where the guards call shots. There are similar agreements for extradition to Germany. “However, it usually requires very long prison sentences,” says Jacobshagen.
More about Boris Becker:
Boris Becker is currently accused of delaying bankruptcy in a London court. The verdict must be handed down today. The specific claim, the course of the process and a possible verdict – you can read an overview of all information about the case here.
This Friday, the verdict against tennis legend Boris Becker, who hid significant assets in his bankruptcy proceedings, will be announced in London. In an interview with FOCUS Online, lawyer Hubert Preisner from Heilbronn explains what punishment Becker would expect in Germany. And he describes the tricks that debtors use to try to cheat their creditors.