Former World Number 1 and 6-times Grand Slam singles champion Boris Becker has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for hiding his assets while he was declared bankrupt. A London court found the 54 years old German guilty on 4 charges under the insolvency act.
Becker was convicted earlier this month, and while handing out the sentence, the judge Deborah Taylor said that the German tennis great had shown no remorse or acceptance of guilt. The case centered around Becker’s bankruptcy in 2017 over an unpaid loan of over 3 Million Pounds on his luxury estate in Mallorca, Spain.
While declaring bankruptcy, Becker was legally obliged to disclose all of his assets so that his trustee could distribute available funds to his creditors, to whom he owed nearly £50m when he was declared bankrupt. However, Becker transferred huge sums of money (over 350,000 Pounds) from his account after declaring bankruptcy. He also failed to declare a property in Germany and concealed over 825,000 euros of debt and shares in a tech firm.
After about two weeks of hearing, jurors found Becker guilty of removal of the property, failing to disclose estate, and concealing debt.
Becker’s lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw tried to argue that the trial has already destroyed his reputation and has left no prospect of future income, however, the jury was unmoved. He said, “Boris Becker has literally nothing and there is also nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers and that is correctly termed as nothing short of a tragedy. These proceedings have destroyed his career entirely and ruined any further prospect of earning an income.”
Judge Deborah Taylor said that Becker has shown no remorse or taken responsibility for his actions. Referring to Becker’s previous conviction for tax evasion in Germany in 2002, she said, “You did not heed the warning you were given and the chance you were given by the suspended sentence and that is a significant aggravating factor. You have sought to distance yourself from your offending and your bankruptcy.”
Boris Becker: Fall from grace
Boris Becker was once the best tennis player in the world. He shocked everyone as a 17 years old when he turned up and won Wimbledon, the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Becker went on to win 5 more Grand Slams, two more Wimbledons, one US Open, and two Australian Opens. Along with Ivan Lendl and Steffan Edberg, Becker was the cream of Men’s tennis during the late 80s.
However, those glory days are a faint memory now as Becker’s financial troubles, which have been mounting over the recent years, have finally sent him on the way to jail.