Former tennis player Baker sentenced to two and a half years in UK bankruptcy case

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by Andrew McAskill

LONDON (Reuters) – Former German tennis player Boris Becker was sentenced on Friday by a London court to 2.5 years in prison for hiding hundreds of thousands of pounds in assets after he was declared bankrupt.

Baker was indicted under Britain’s Insolvency Act on four counts, including nondisclosure, concealment and removal of significant assets following a bankruptcy ruling.

The six-time Grand Slam champion, 54, was found guilty of transferring money to his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Shirley after going bankrupt in 2017.

“It is remarkable that you have no remorse or confession of your guilt,” Justice Deborah Taylor told Baker when sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London. “There was no humility.”

The judge said Baker would serve half his sentence behind bars and the rest on parole. Baker, whose current partner Lillian and son Noah were in court, looked straight ahead without emotion as the sentence was handed down.

He was previously convicted of tax evasion in Germany in 2002, but without jail time.

During the trial, details emerged about Baker’s career and how the former world number one player, who won the Wimbledon tournament three times, lost his fortune after his retirement.

The jury heard how he claimed not to know the location of some of his trophies, how he took a high-interest loan from one of the UK’s richest businessmen, and tried to avoid bankruptcy by claiming that he had received it from the Central African Republic. enjoys diplomatic protection. ,

Prosecutor Rebecca Chackley said Baker was “selective in declaring his assets.”

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The former tennis champion was declared bankrupt due to debts from Arbuthnot Latham & Company, and under the terms of the bankruptcy law, he was required to disclose his assets in full.

He was convicted of failing to declare an asset in Germany, withholding an 825,000 euro bank loan and shares in a Canadian technology company.

He denied all allegations, saying that he had cooperated with the bankruptcy process – even offering his wedding ring – and had confided in his advisers.

“His reputation, an essential part of the brand that employs him, is bad,” said Baker’s attorney, Jonathan Laidlaw. “His fall is not merely a fall from grace, but the sheer amount of humiliation.”

((Rio de Janeiro newsroom translation))

Reuters PF

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