Jurors told Boris Becker used company account like 'piggy bank'

Boris Becker used a company account like his ‘personal piggy bank’ to pay for his children’s school fees and £1,000 Ocado shopping as he ‘hid millions of pounds worth of assets after going bankrupt’, court hears

  • Boris Becker, 54, denies 24 counts of concealing assets at a London court 
  • Charges relate to bankruptcy in 2017 and a £3.5 million loan for property
  • He is said to have concealed, removed or failed to declare over 1.13million euros 

Boris Becker used a company account like his ‘personal piggy bank’ to pay for his children’s school fees as he ‘hid millions of pounds worth of assets after going bankrupt’, a court heard today. 

The former world number one, 54, also spent hundreds of pounds at luxury department store Harrods, bought online groceries at Ocado and treated himself to Ralph Lauren clothes, a jury heard.  

He is charged with 24 offences under the Insolvency Act relating to his June 2017 bankruptcy over a £3.5 million loan from private bank Arbuthnot Latham for a property in Mallorca, Spain. 

It is alleged Becker, who commentated at Wimbledon last year, put money in the accounts of a company in his own name, and then later sent some money to his former wife Barbara Becker, a friend and estranged wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker.

The German national is also alleged to have hidden 1.13 million euros (around £950,000) from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany, which was paid into his Boris Becker Private Office (BBPOL) account. 

The High Court in London imposed restrictions on Becker’s finances for the next decade as the Insolvency Service raised concerns over ‘undisclosed’ transactions in 2017.

The six-times tennis Grand Slam winner, who won Wimbledon three times over his career, denies the charges. 

Becker, who won 49 singles titles out of 77 finals during his 16 years as a professional tennis player, is being supported in court by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro. Pictured: Becker arrives with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro at Southwark Crown Court 

He is on trial at Southwark Crown Court charged with 24 offences under the Insolvency Act relating to his June 2017 bankruptcy over a £3.5 million loan from private bank Arbuthnot Latham for a property in Mallorca, Spain, pictured

Becker allegedly hid the proceeds from the sale of a £3million car dealership by transferring money to his second wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’, who he separated from three years ago. Pictured, Becker and Sharlely in 2015

Tennis ace Becker hid money away by sending huge sums to his first wife Barbara (pictured together in 2000), it is alleged

Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said today: ‘It is the prosecution case that Mr Becker used the BBPOL sterling account as an extension of his own account, effectively as his own piggy bank, for everyday personal expenses such as school fees for the children and such like.’

She said payments in 2017 included £643 to Polo Ralph Lauren, £7,600 for school fees, £976 to Harrods and more than £1,000 at Ocado.

Ms Chalkley told jurors Becker paid his ex-wife Barbara Becker 23,000 euros (£19,000), estranged wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker 100,000 euros (£83,000) and transferred £225,000 to a friend.

He also transferred 300,000 euros (£249,000) to his own account, while other funds went into an account he jointly held with his son Noah, the court heard.

Becker is also accused of failing to hand over assets including trophies such as the 1985 and 1989 Wimbledon men’s singles title, his Australian Open trophies from 1991 and 1996 and his 1992 Olympic gold medal.

He also allegedly failed to declare two German properties, as well as his interest in a flat in Chelsea, west London, and hid an 825,000 euro (almost £700,000) bank loan.

Becker, who won 49 singles titles out of 77 finals during his 16 years as a professional tennis player, is being supported in court by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.

Becker denies nine counts of failing to deliver up trophies and other awards, seven counts of concealing property, five counts of failing to disclose estate, two of removal of property and one of concealing debt.

The 54-year-old commentator was declared bankrupt in June 2017 after borrowing around £3.5 million from private bank Arbuthnot Latham for this property in Mallorca

He denies nine counts of failing to deliver up trophies and other awards, seven counts of concealing property, five counts of failing to disclose estate, two of removal of property and one of concealing debt. 

Prosecutor Chalkley, on behalf of the Insolvency Service and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, added: ‘It is the concealment that the defence denies.

‘The prosecution case is that Mr Becker had the money which was owed personally to him paid into the BBPOL intentionally so it was not visible, or rather hidden, from trustee of the bankruptcy estate Mark Ford.’

She continued: ‘The ingredients of the offence are agreed. The bit disputed, and what the prosecution has to prove, is that it was deliberate to essentially move the monies away for purposes of concealment.’

A selection of trophies, awards, and memorabilia from the tennis career of Boris Becker. Becker is accused of failing to hand over trophies from his glittering career to settle debts

Becker manipulated the bankruptcy system by hiding millions of pounds of assets and his Wimbledon trophies to avoid paying back a £3.5million loan for this Mallorca villa, the court heard

The prosecutor also explained that just under 500,000 euros was sent to his ex-wife Barbara, his current wife at the time, Lilly, and a friend.

Ms Chalkley said: ‘He did not disclose the sale of the money until that money was already gone.

‘It was lost to the estate and to the creditors. It is the prosecution case that Mr Becker did this deliberately.

‘It’s clear from the close proximity from the date of the order and the presentation of the petition that Mr Becker was fully aware of the petition and subsequent orders and he wanted to move the money from the sale of the car dealership’

Becker, who now lives in an exclusive riverside apartment block in Battersea, southwest London, sat in the dock wearing a navy pinstripe suit with a white turtleneck and black Puma trainers. Pictured: The former Wimbledon Champion and sports commentator Boris Becker arrives with his partner Lillian de Carvalho at Southwark Crown Court

Becker, who now lives in an exclusive riverside apartment block in Battersea, southwest London, sat in the dock wearing a navy pinstripe suit with a white turtleneck and black Puma trainers.

In 1985, he won Wimbledon at 17 years old wearing Puma shoes and using a Puma racket. 

Becker is bailed conditionally with requirements to live and sleep at his Battersea address.

He must notify the Insolvency Service, who prosecute the case, at least 48 hours before travelling abroad, including details of all countries and islands he will be visiting.

Becker, defended by Jonathan Laidlaw QC, is also required to provide his solicitors with his passport when not travelling.

The trial continues.

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