'No humility': Boris Becker jailed for hiding £2.5m in bankruptcy case

·4 min read

The three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for flouting the terms of his 2017 bankruptcy, as a judge told him: "You've shown no humility".

The former world number one, 54, was earlier this month found guilty of transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account and failing to declare a property in his home town of Leimen, Germany.

The prosecution valued Becker's offences at £2.5 million, which included; hiding an 825,000 euro (almost £700,000) bank loan and the interest, hiding £75,000 shares in a tech firm, concealing ownership of a £1.053 million home which his mother lives in, and transferring £390,000 to other people.

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, arrives for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, in London, after he was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act during his bankruptcy trial. Picture date: Friday April 29, 2022.
Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been jailed for two-and-a-half years. (PA)

The father-of-four has been ordered to serve half of his sentence behind bars.

Sentencing, Judge Deborah Taylor referred to a previous conviction in Germany and 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.

“I accept the humiliation you have felt but you’ve shown no humility”.

Becker arrived at court on Friday holding the hand of partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro and wearing a striped tie in the Wimbledon colours of purple and green

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, arrives alongside partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, in London, after he was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act during his bankruptcy trial. Picture date: Friday April 29, 2022.
Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker arrives at Southwark Crown Court with partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro on Friday. (PA)

He entered the dock of Southwark Crown Court, while his eldest son, Noah, came into courtroom carrying a large Puma-branded bag.

Each offence under the Insolvency Act, which include removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt, carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.

He told jurors his $50 million (about £38 million) career earnings were swallowed up by an expensive divorce to his first wife Barbara Becker, child maintenance payments and “expensive lifestyle commitments”.

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, arrives alongside partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, in London, after he was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act during his bankruptcy trial. Picture date: Friday April 29, 2022.
Becker had faced a maximum jail term of seven years. (PA)

The German national, who has lived in the UK since 2012, said he was “shocked” and “embarrassed” when he was declared bankrupt in June 2017 over an unpaid loan of more than £3 million on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.

He claimed he had co-operated with trustees tasked with securing his assets, even offering up his wedding ring, and relied on the advisers who managed his life.

However, earlier this month, Becker was found guilty of four charges, including failures to disclose properties and concealing debt.

His barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QCs said Becker has been left with nothing to show for his “glittering” sporting career and will have to rely on charity to survive.

“This defendant has lost literally everything and he has already paid an extremely heavy price both for the mismanagement of his financial affairs, which of course he has nobody to blame but himself, but also for his offending,” 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.”

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, arrives alongside partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, in London, after he was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act during his bankruptcy trial. Picture date: Friday April 29, 2022.
Boris Becker, arrives alongside partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, before being jailed. (PA)

Mr Laidlaw said Becker, who after retirement coached current world number one Novak Djokovic, worked as a TV sports commentator for broadcasters including the BBC, and acted as a brand ambassador for firms such as Puma, does not have a future.

“His fall is not simply a fall from grace but amounts to the most public humiliation for this man,” he said.

“The degree of his suffering, and it will continue, is punishment that no other bankrupt in this country is likely to ever experience.

“These proceedings have destroyed his career entirely and ruined any further prospect of earning an income. His reputation is in tatters.

“He will not be able to find work and will have to rely on the charity of others if he is to survive.”

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