Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been found guilty by a London court of hiding millions of dollars in assets from his creditors — including property in his home country of Germany — and has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail.
According to the BBC, the six-time Grand Slam tennis champion, who rose to fame at the age of 17 in 1985 when he became the youngest person to ever win the men’s singles tournament at Wimbledon, was guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act related to his filing for bankruptcy in 2017.
Becker was supposed to reveal all of his assets to creditors to whom he owed nearly £50m when he declared bankruptcy, but didn’t disclose a sprawling £1,000,000 property he owns in Leimen, hid a loan of €825,000 and assets valued at nearly €427,000, and did not disclose shares owned in a gambling tech firm, according to a New York Times report.
Becker was acquitted of 20 other charges, including nine counts of failing to hand trophies and medals he won during his tennis career, including his Wimbledon awards.
Judge Deborah Taylor showed no love to Becker, who was given a suspended sentence on a conviction for tax evasion in Germany in 2002, claiming he had displayed no remorse or acceptance of guilt.
“You did not heed the warning you were given and the chance you were given by the suspended sentence and that is a significant aggravating factor,” the judge said. “While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there has been no humility.”
The 54-year-old Becker retired from tennis in 1999 after a career filled with triumphs, including Wimbledon victories in 1985, 1986 and 1989, a U.S. Open championship in 1989, and Australian Open victories in 1991 and 1996.
The home believed to be hidden from investors was put on the market in 2020 for £1.8million, but it came with a catch: the buyer would have to live with Becker’s elderly mother, according to a report in The Daily Mail.
The seven-bedroom home was said to have unrestricted views of the Rhine Valley and included a “granny flat” that would become the “lifelong right of residence” for Becker’s then 85-yea- old widowed mother, Elvira.
Becker, who lives in England, will spend half of his sentence in jail, and half “on license,” which is similar to being released on parole in the United States.
[BBC] — Vince DiMiceli