Former World Champion tennis star Boris Becker has been jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of fraud by a British court of charges relating to his 2017 bankruptcy.
He was jailed for flouting the terms of his 2017 bankruptcy by hiding £2.5million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.
The six-time Grand Slam tennis champion will serve half of the term after being convicted at Southwark Crown Court in London over his transfer of huge amounts of money from his business account.
He also failed to declare a property in Germany and concealed 825,000 euros ($866,500) of debt and shares in a tech firm.
He was acquitted earlier this month of a further 20 charges, including nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and medals he won during his glittering tennis career.
Boris Becker told jurors he did not know the whereabouts of the memorabilia, including two of his three Wimbledon men’s singles trophies.
Boris Becker Owed US$50 million
Judge Deborah Taylor had released Becker, who won Wimbledon as an unseeded teenager — on conditional bankruptcy bail ahead of her sentencing decision on Friday. He arrived early for the hearing, wearing Wimbledon colors, a white shirt, and a charcoal grey suit.
He held hands with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro as he walked into court past a bank of waiting reporters and cameras.
Former world number one tennis champion told the jury in court how his US$50 million (£40 million pounds sterling) career earnings were wiped out by a costly divorce from Barbara Becker, child maintenance payments, and “expensive lifestyle commitments”.
When Becker declared bankruptcy in June 2017, it was because he owed £3million on his Mallorca property. He described the occasion as “shocking” and “embarrassing.”
Despite living in Britain since 2012, the German said he complied with bankruptcy trustees’ requests to safeguard his assets. The tennis player also offered his wedding ring and relied on advisers to manage his life away from tennis.
Guilty under the Bankruptcy Act
His eldest son Noah and Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro supported him in court, but he was found guilty of four charges under the Bankruptcy Act.
During his career, Becker earned a “vast amount” of money, paying cash for several properties.
Despite this, he said his income “dramatically” decreased after his retirement in 1999. He now coaches world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, works as a TV sports commentator and serves as a brand ambassador for Puma.
Becker, who lived in Switzerland and Monte Carlo before moving to the UK, said he rented a house in Wimbledon, south-west London, for £22,000 pounds sterling a month.
Additionally, he owed the Swiss authorities five million Swiss francs (about US$5.1 million) and separately just under one million euros as a result of a conviction in Germany in 2002 for attempted tax evasion as well as tax evasion.
Having suffered bad publicity, Becker struggled to make enough money to pay off his debts.
When Boris Becker filed for bankruptcy, Jonathan Laidlaw told Becker he was too “trusting and reliant” on his advisers.
With a shocking shock of strawberry-blond hair, Becker made tennis history in 1985 by becoming Wimbledon’s youngest champion at 17 and repeating the feat the following year.
In 1989, Boris Becker won Wimbledon for a third time after being nicknamed “Boom Boom” for his powerful serve.
During his career, he won the Australian Open twice and the US Open, becoming the world’s top player in 1991.
After retirement, Boris Becker began working for the BBC as a commentator, but returned to the court in 2013 to mentor Djokovic, helping him win six more Grand Slam titles before they parted ways in 2016.