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TENNIS

Why was Boris Becker sentenced to prison?

Tennis legend Boris Becker received a two and a half year sentence in a British court for hiding assets in relation to his 2017 bankruptcy.

Jeffrey May
Update:
Tennis legend Boris Becker received a two and a half year sentence in a British court for hiding assets in relation to his 2017 bankruptcy.
Karwai TangGetty

Ex-tennis legend Boris Becker has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a British jail for hiding £2.5 million ($3.14 million) worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.

He was declared bankrupt in June 2017 over an unpaid loan of more than £3 million ($3.77 million) on his estate in Mallorca, Spain and a London court found him guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act earlier this month.

He was found guilty of transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account after his bankruptcy, failing to declare a property in Germany, and concealing €825,000 ($870,000) of debt. It was shown that he had transferred large sums of money out of his business account into the account of his ex-wife Barbara.

The 54-year-old tennis star had owed creditors almost £50 million ($62.87 million) and had admitted that his costly divorce in 2001, as well as a lavish lifestyle that saw him renting a house in Wimbledon for £22,000 ($27,660) per month, had wiped out his finances.

In sentencing Becker, Judge Deborah Taylor said it was “notable you have not shown remorse or acceptance of your guilt”.

She went on to add, “While I accept the humiliation you have felt as a result of these proceedings, you have shown no humility.”

There was no sign of emotion from Becker as he was taken away to begin his sentence.

His lawyer, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, said that the six-time Grand Slam champion “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. These proceedings have destroyed his career entirely and ruined any further prospect of earning an income. His reputation is in tatters.”

Becker’s partner, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, and his oldest son Noah were in the court to hear the sentencing.

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