(London) Boris Becker, a former German tennis star in an eventful retirement, faces prison after being found guilty Friday in London of four counts of personal bankruptcy.
Posted at 9:57 AM
Updated at 11:15 a.m.
Sentencing is set for April 29. He faces seven years in prison for each of the four crimes.
He declared personal bankruptcy in June 2017 in London, and accused the 54-year-old six-time Grand Slam winner of failing to honor his information disclosure obligations, particularly banking.
Of the 24 charges against him, a jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court on Friday found him guilty of property forfeiture and two counts of nondisclosure of property and concealment of debt.
He was found guilty of, among other things, transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from a business account to other accounts, including those of his ex-wives, failing to declare his holdings in Germany and concealing a €825,000 loan and shares in a company.
Boris Becker, who appealed the entirety of the charges, was acquitted of the rest of the charges, including those related to the non-delivery of his awards.
He had assured the session that he did not know their whereabouts, or else he would hand them over.
Among the nine trophies the creditors wanted were two of the three Wimbledon Cups, the two-time Australian Open and a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics.
The former world number one, who has lived in the UK since 2012, said during the trial that began on March 21 that he still had “many” trophies and memories amassed in his 15 years in the ring, but some of them are gone.
He had previously auctioned some of his prize for 700,000 pounds ($1.1 million) to pay off some of his debts.
fifty million debts
At the time of his bankruptcy, the player’s debts were estimated at 50 million pounds ($82 million).
A star in his country, Boris Becker became the first German to win a Grand Slam title on Wimbledon grass in 1985, at just 17 years old.
Despite his addiction to sleeping pills to fight stress, he became the world number one after six years, winning his first two Australian Open titles, defeating Evan Lendl in the final.
A few weeks later, when he was just 23 years old, he made the decision to announce his retirement after the 1991 Wimbledon final, if only to win, because he was “tired of having everything in him” that he did was kick the ball.’ But he loses against compatriot Michael Stich .
Since 1993, he has had trouble with the German tax authorities, and two years later he lost his last Wimbledon final against Pete Sampras in 1995.
He won his last Grand Slam title at the 1996 Australian Open before ending his career three years later, capturing a record-breaking 49 titles, but without his potential.
Still in the tennis world, he became a TV commentator and coached Novak Djokovic from 2013 to 2016, helping the Serbs win over the dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The British judiciary accused him, and in 2018 he tried one last gamble, claiming that he was appointed by the president of the Central African Republic, the European Union’s “attachee” for cultural, sports and humanitarian affairs for that country.
His lawyer said his role granted him diplomatic immunity preventing him from being sued for other debts, before dropping that claim.
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”