LONDON – Boris Becker, a six-time Grand Slam tennis champion, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Friday in a bankruptcy case after a London court found him guilty of embezzling millions of dollars in property and loans to avoid paying off his debts.
The verdict marked a staggering drop in mercy for 54-year-old Mr Becker, who translated his tennis skills, bright personality and business ambitions into personal status before he was found guilty this month in the Crown Court of Southwark on four charges related to his bankruptcy. June 2017. .
The bankruptcy case meant that Mr. Becker was legally obliged to disclose all of his assets so that they could be used to pay creditors, but the court found several cases where he failed to fulfill his disclosure obligations.
Mr. Becker did not disclose the property he owned in his native Germany, concealed a loan of 825,000 euros (about $ 872,000) and assets worth 426,930.90 euros and not disclosed shares belongs to a a gambling technology firmaccording to Britain Insolvency Service. He was acquitted on another 20 counts of his bankruptcy charges.
Mr. Becker went down in tennis history 1985 when at the age of 17 he became the youngest champion in the history of the men’s singles at Wimbledon. He won there twice more, in 1986 and 1989, and won three more Grand Slam titles in the singles: the U.S. Open 1989 and the Australian Open in 1991 1996. He retired from professional tennis 1999.
The tennis star has been the object of great attention not only for his success on the court. The tabloids also closely followed his tumultuous love life, including divorce and a a fleeting affair with the Russian woman from whom he gave birth.
Mr. Becker’s precarious financial situation has been under close scrutiny for several years.
In 2017, a private bank in London, Arbutnot Latam, filed for bankruptcy in Mr Becker’s bankruptcy, arguing that the payment of a large debt from him was overdue for almost two years. A London court soon declared him officially bankrupt, recognizing that he could not repay his debts.
In the same year, a Swiss court dismissed a lawsuit by a former Swiss business partner who claimed Mr. Becker owed him more than $ 40 million.
Fighting off his creditors, in 2018 Mr. Becker tried to demand diplomatic immunitybecause the Central African Republic called it its own attache at the European Union on sports, culture and humanitarian activities.
Had this demand been met, any action against Mr Becker would have required the approval of the Foreign Secretary, who at the time was Boris Johnson, the current Prime Minister. But Mr Becker eventually dropped the claim.
In 2002, Becker was doomed in Germany for income tax evasion, received two years probation and was fined nearly $ 300,000. The verdict was handed down six years after German tax investigators raid Mr. Becker’s house in Munich.
Mr. Becker is said to have won millions of dollars in prize and sponsorship deals. Over the years, he has had several business ventures, including a line of branded tennis gear. He often acted as a BBC commentator at Wimbledon and also coached Novak Djokovic, the highest rated male singles player in the worldfor several years.