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Tennis great Boris Becker lands in jail over bankruptcy charges, know full story here!

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Boris Becker is a household figure in tennis, noted for his flamboyant on-court flair and high-flying off-court lifestyle. With six Grand Slam singles championships (three at Wimbledon, two Australian Opens, and a US Open), and six major titles as Novak Djokovic’s coach, he was well-respected.

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Becker’s “reputation is in ruins,” according to his attorney Jonathan Laidlaw QC, after being sentenced for two-and-a-half years for violating the rules of his bankruptcy in 2017, concealing assets and loans worth millions to avoid repaying debts.

What crime has Boris Becker been convicted of?

The former World No. 1 was found guilty of four offences of the Insolvency Act — removal of property, two counts of failing to report estate, and concealing debt — at Southwark Crown Court in London. Following his bankruptcy, Becker was discovered to have moved hundreds of thousands of pounds from his company account to other accounts, including those of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely Becker. The 54-year-old German was also found guilty of failing to declare a German property and concealing a €825,000 bank loan and shares in a tech company.

Boris Becker was declared bankrupt for what reason?

Becker filed for bankruptcy in June 2017 at a London court. He owed a private banking business, Arbuthnot Latham & Co, roughly £3.3 million at the time, according to The Guardian. In 2017, he reportedly missed his payback due by more than two years, and he urged the bank to postpone initiating a lawsuit against him for another 28 days. In the meanwhile, he wanted to sell his Mallorca house to pay off some of the debt. The bank’s registrar, on the other hand, is said to have rejected, claiming that “(one) has the impression of a man with his head in the sand.”

Will Boris Becker end up in prison?

Becker will serve half of his term, according to Judge Deborah Taylor, who handed down the penalty.

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Did Becker try to raise money in any way?

Yes. In June of this year, he organised an auction. The plan was to sell artefacts from his playing days, including as trophies and uniforms, to help pay off the loan. He had a total of 82 things for sale. His 1989 US Open trophy, which he won by defeating Ivan Lendl in the final, was the most costly buy. It was sold for £150,250 in July 2019. He also made a profit of £52,100 by selling a replica of a Davis Cup trophy he won.

The sale raised almost £680,000 in total.

What measures Boris Becker went to escape a court penalty?

International ambassadors are exempt from prosecution in a host country, including criminal and civil processes, under restrictions established by the 1961 Vienna Convention. “The diplomatic passport that (Becker) carries is a fake,” Cherubin Moroubama, the CAR foreign ministry’s chief of staff, told the reporters.

He went on to say that the serial number on Becker’s passport was from a batch that was stolen in 2014. Furthermore, Moroubama stated that the German’s claim to a position with the CAR “does not exist.” Surprisingly, a number of people, including a former Muammar Gaddafi adviser, have invoked CAR diplomatic immunity to avoid prosecution in Europe.

Has Boris Becker ever been in financial trouble?

The German has suffered with his money since retiring in 1999, whether it’s due to alimony or failing ventures. According to his ATP profile, he won $25,080,956 in prize money during his playing days, and there have been rumours that his total worth may have surpassed $130 million due to sponsorship deals.

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However, in 2001, the German authorities charged him with tax evasion of between £3.2 million and £10 million. Becker stated at the time that he was residing in Monaco, a tax-free haven. He had, however, been spotted frequently at his Munich flat, prompting investigators to conclude he had been residing in Germany and so was subject to German tax regulations.

What findings did the court make in this case?

The former tennis star, according to Judge Taylor, displayed no sorrow or shame for his acts.

She told Becker about his past sentence in Germany for tax evasion, “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… You have… sought to distance yourself from your offending and your bankruptcy. While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there has been no humility.”

Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said Becker had acted “deliberately and dishonestly” and that he was “still seeking to blame others.”

What are the ramifications of the Becker verdict?

“You have lost your career, reputation, and all of your property as a result of your bankruptcy,” Judge Taylor remarked.

Becker’s lawyer claims that his “fall from grace” has left his “reputation in tatters.”

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“Boris Becker has literally nothing and there is also nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers and that is correctly termed as nothing short of a tragedy. These proceedings have destroyed his career entirely and ruined any further prospect of earning an income. He will not be able to find work and will have to rely on the charity of others if he is to survive,” his lawyer said.

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