Boris Becker bankruptcy: tennis star jailed for two-and-a-half years as judge said he had ‘not shown remorse’

The three-time Wimbledon champion was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison at Southwark Crown Court

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Tennis star Boris Becker has has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after being found guilty of hiding £2.5 million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.

The three-time Wimbledon champion, 54, was declared bankrupt in June 2017, owing creditors almost £50 million, over an unpaid loan of more than £3 million on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.

Becker transferred almost 427,000 euros (around £390,000) from his business account to others, including those of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.

The father-of-four also failed to declare his share in a £1 million property in his home town of Leimen, Germany, hid an 825,000 euro (almost £700,000) bank loan – worth £1.1 million with interest – and concealed 75,000 shares in a tech firm, valued at £66,000.

Becker, who was handed a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion worth 1.7 million euro (around £1.4 million) in Germany in 2002, was found guilty of four offences under the Insolvency Act between June 21 and October 3 2017 earlier this month.

Boris Becker arriving at Southwark Crown Court (Photo: PA)Boris Becker arriving at Southwark Crown Court (Photo: PA)
Boris Becker arriving at Southwark Crown Court (Photo: PA)

What was said in court?

Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced the six-time Grand Slam champion to two-and-a-half years imprisonment, of which he will serve half, at Southwark Crown Court.

Referring to his previous conviction, the judge 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.”

She told Becker: “I take into account what has been described as your fall from grace.

“You have lost your career and reputation and all of your property as a result of your bankruptcy.”

But she added: “You have not shown remorse, acceptance of your guilt and have sought to distance yourself from your offending and your bankruptcy.

“While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there has been no humility.”

When did Boris Becker declare bankruptcy?

The six-time grand slam winner officially declared bankruptcy in June 2017 and he did not pay back a £3million loan on an estate in Mallorca, Spain.

Mr Becker said that he had worked with a group of trustees to ensure that his assets were secure and had worked on expert advice.

He spoke at the time saying that the filling had damaged “brand Becker”, however QC Jonathan Laidlaw said that the time that he had been too “trusting and reliant” on his advisors.

Trophies of his were auctioned off to help raise funds, however he insisted that the location of some were unknown, including two of his Wimbledon cups.

What did Boris Becker say about his bankruptcy?

Mr Becker told the court that he had earned a “vast amount” of money during his playing career and was able to buy residences in Munich, Miami and the estate in Mallorca.

However, he revealed that his income had “reduced dramatically” after he retired in 1999.

He added that “an expensive divorce” from his wife Barbara in 2001 contributed towards him filing for bankruptcy.

Mr Becker paid high maintenance payments to his ex-wife for their two sons, and also had to support his ex-wife and her mother in maintaining a flat in Chelsea, London.

The ex-tennis player also told the court that “expensive lifestyle commitments” had also contributed to his filling for bankruptcy, including the upkeep of a £22,000-per-month rented home in Wimbledon, south-west London.