Bernie Ecclestone charged with fraud after Putin remarks: net worth 2022, age, daughters, wife Fabiana Flosi

Bernie Ecclestone charged with fraud over his overseas assets

The former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been charged with fraud after UK tax authorities allegedly found undeclared assets worth more than £400 million overseas.

Bernie Ecclestone recently defended President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, claiming the invaded nation could have done more to prevent the conflict.

The controversial business magnate, who has since apologised for his comments, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he would “take a bullet” for the Russian leader.

He has now been charged with fraud and the UK Crown Prosecution Service said on Monday it had “authorised the charging of Bernard Charles Ecclestone with fraud by false representation, following a (HM Revenue and Customs) investigation.”

Who is Bernie Ecclestone?

Mr Ecclestone has been married three times and married his latest wife, Fabiana, back in 2012.

The former F1 boss has three daughters and one son.

His first daughter Deborah was with his first wife Ivy and Petra and Tamara, are daughters from his second wife Salvica Radic with whom he was married from 1985 to 2009.

Mr Ecclestone’s son is with his third wife, Fabiana, who is 46 years his junior. Mr Ecclestone’s son, Alexander, was born after Eccelstone’s 90th birthday.

He formed the Formula One Constructors Associaion in 1974 with Frank Williams, Colin Chapman, Teddy Mayer, Ken Tyrrell and Max Mosley.

Mr Ecclestone then became chief executive of FOCA in 1978 with Mr Mosley as his legal adviser and secured the right for his organisation to negotiate television contracts for the Grand Prix.

After the loss of Silverstone as the venue for the British Grand Prix in 2008, Mr Ecclestone came under fire from high-profile names for his dealings with Formula One’s finances.

Eventually, the businessman was removed from his post in 2017, at the age of 86, when Liberty Media took over.

Ecclestone, right, and his friend Vladimir PutinEcclestone, right, and his friend Vladimir Putin
Ecclestone, right, and his friend Vladimir Putin

What did Bernie Ecclestone say in the interview?

Speaking to GMB this morning (30 June), Mr Ecclestone called Putin “sensible” and “a first class person” who “believed he was doing the right thing for Russia.”

Mr Ecclestone claimed: “Unfortunately he’s like a lot of business people, certainly like me, that we make mistakes from time to time and when you make the mistake, you have to do the best you can to get out of it.”

The former F1 boss then criticised the Ukrainian leader, President Zelensky, for not making enough effort to prevent the war: “The other person in Ukraine, his profession I understand used to be a comedian and I think it seems that he wants to continue that profession.

“I think if he’d thought about things he would definitely have made a big enough effort to speak to Mr Putin, who is a sensible person, and would have listened to him and could have probably done something about it.”

He was then asked if he thought Mr Zelensky should have done more to avert the war and if the leader’s actions could have helped prevent it, to which the former F1 boss said “absolutely”.

Mr Ecclestone was also asked if he still considered Putin to be a friend and the 91-year-old business man replied: “I’d still take a bullet for him. I’d rather it didn’t hurt, but if it does I’d still take a bullet, because he’s a first-class person.”

It was also suggested to the former F1 tycoon that he could not justify the deaths of thousands of people caused by Putin’s actions, to which he responded: “It wasn’t intentional”.

Ecclestone has since apologised for his comments and spoke to Sky Sports saying: “Often people, I think, come out and say things or do things without really too much thinking.

“Probably I did the same, and I can understand people thinking I’m defending what he’s done in Ukraine, which I don’t...

“And I’m sorry if anything I’ve said has upset anybody becuase it certainly wasn’t intended.”

What has F1 done since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the F1 franchise Haas dropped their predominant sponsor, Uralkali, due to its close links to high up in the Russian government.

Haas’ Russian driver, and son of Uralkali’s Chair, Nikita Mazepin, was also dropped and replaced by Kevin Magnussen.

Formula 1 also removed the Russian Sochi Grand Prix from the calendar and ended their contract meaning F1 will not return to Russia until at least 2024.

Mr Ecclestone was also asked on his views regarding F1’s decisions in response to the war, to which he replied: “I’m not in the position now to have done anything about that. I’m not sure I would have stopped that, and I certainly now wouldn’t, and I think it’s wrong, to stop Russian athletes, including obviously drivers, in taking part in their sport.

“They didn’t get involved in this in the first place. They shouldn’t be punished.”

What is Bernie Ecclestone’s net worth?

It was estimated by Forbes World’s Billionaires that Mr Ecclestone had a net worth of $3.5 billion (around £2.8bn).

The 2021 Sunday Times Rich List also listed the business tycoon as the 65th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of £2.5 billion.

Ecclestone’s first hearing in his tax case is scheduled to take place on 22 August at Westminster magistrates court.