German national Boris Becker arrives at court with partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro. Pic: Reuters for the BBC
Game, set and stash: when stashing cash away from the Insolvency Service and hiding assets as your creditors close in can end in court (and even prison)
By Harry Mottram for ICSM: The former world number one tennis player Boris Becker has been found guilty of hiding assets and cash from the authorities relating to his bankruptcy at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 8th April 2022.
The case was bought against him by the Insolvency Service after he was charged with 24 offences under the Insolvency Act following his 2017 bankruptcy over a £3.5 million loan from the bank Arbuthnot Latham for a home Spain.
It reveals how he used his former company’s bank account to pay personal bills and maintain his luxury lifestyle after being declared bankrupt as well as hiding a number of assets and cash which he should have declared.
To avoid the bank debt he hid £700,000, transferred hundreds of thousands to his ex-wives, kept quiet about his German house and paid close to a million pounds from the sale of car dealership business to another business account in his name.
He was also found guilty by the court of several other attempts to hide cash and other properties but he was cleared of 20 accounts of hiding assets including the disposal of his tennis trophies. Becker will be sentenced later this month which could include a prison sentence.
The case reveals how trying to avoid paying debts – such as a bank loan – can leave you in serious trouble. ICSM’s spokesman said if he had come clean at the beginning it is possible that some of the debts would have been written off and an out of court settlement could have been sealed. He would not be the first sporting celebrity to go bust and his name alone would have meant he could have restored his fortunes with future work. The spokesperson went on to say it is a mistake to use a business account as though it is also a personal one and a bigger mistake to try and mislead the Insolvency Service.
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For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk