Explained | Why was tennis star Boris Becker sentenced to prison?

During his career, Boris Becker has won six Grand Slam tournaments in all – three Wimbledon championships, two Australian Open titles and one Roland Garros title.

During his career, Boris Becker has won six Grand Slam tournaments in all – three Wimbledon championships, two Australian Open titles and one Roland Garros title.

The story so far: Former tennis champion Boris Becker was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Friday on charges related to his 2017 bankruptcy filing. Southwark Crown Court in London found Mr Becker guilty of illegally transferring large sums of money and hiding assets after being declared bankrupt. He will serve half the term.

Mr Becker was found guilty in April of four counts under UK insolvency law and had faced a maximum of seven years in prison. The international tennis star was acquitted of twenty other charges, including nine counts of not presenting the trophies and medals he won during his career.

“You showed no remorse, accepted your guilt and sought to distance yourself from your offense and your bankruptcy. While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there was no humility,” Judge Deborah Taylor said as she handed down the sentence. .

What happened in 2017?

In 2017, Mr. Becker was declared bankrupt for a debt that had been unpaid since 2015. The bankruptcy petition was filed by private bankers Arbuthnot Latham & Co. Mr. Becker’s lawyers had requested a 28-day adjournment, hoping that re-mortgaging a property in Spain would help pay off the debt. The plea, however, was rejected by Clerk Christine Derrett. She had referred to Mr Becker as someone who made it look like ‘his head was in the sand’.

What are the new discoveries related to bankruptcy?

According to the new findings, Mr Becker transferred hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account to other accounts, including that of his former wives Barbara Becker and Lilly Becker.

Mr Becker was found guilty of concealing assets in Germany and failing to report $866,500 in debt and stock in a technology company.

According to Mr. Becker, his career savings of around $50 million have been reduced by a costly divorce from his first wife, child support payments and lifestyle commitments. He also said he was shocked and embarrassed when he was declared bankrupt in 2017.

The former tennis star owed Swiss authorities $5.1 million and nearly $1 million in debt following a conviction for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002. According to Judge Taylor, the conviction of Mr. Becker for tax evasion in Germany was an “aggravating factor”.

What was Mr. Becker’s international tennis career like?

Mr Becker became an overnight star when he won the Wimbledon Championship in 1985 as an unrated player aged 17. During his career, he has won six Grand Slams in all – three Wimbledon championships, two Australian Open titles and one Roland Garros title. In 1991, he became the highest ranked player in the world. Mr. Becker retired from the sport in 1999.

After retiring, he spent some time as a commentator before returning to the arena as the coach of Serbian world champion Novak Djokovic. Under Mr Becker, Mr Djokovic won six Grand Slam trophies before parting ways in 2016.

Mr Becker has lived in Britain since 2012.

(With contributions from AFP)


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