Tennis legend Boris Becker could face jail time after being found guilty under Insolvency Act

The German tennis great has been bailed ahead of sentencing as his messy bankruptcy saga draws towards a close.

Tennis legend Boris Becker could face jail time after he was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act. 

Becker, who won six Grand Slams during his career and is the youngest man to ever win Wimbledon, stood accused of hiding assets to avoid playing his debts.

His two Wimbledon trophies were among the assets he was alleged to have hidden after being declared bankrupt in 2017.

Becker has two previous convictions for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany, he failed to repay a £4million loan on his Mallorca estate, and has also borrowed £1.25million from businessman John Caudwell.

Quite how Becker got himself into such financial dire straights is unknown, especially given he earned nearly £40million in prize money and commercial partnerships during his career as a tennis player.

He has also continued to work within the sport as a media analyst, and had a spell coaching Novak Djokovic.

Former German tennis star BORIS BECKER, his partner LILIAN DE CARVALHO MONTEIRO

Defence barrister Jonathan Laidlaw argued that Becker had been poorly advised after the end of his playing career, with his finances managed "chaotically."

Some of Becker's trophies were auctioned off for £700,000, including two of his three Wimbledon trophies, his Olympic medals from 1992 and two Australian Open trophies, but Becker says he has been unable to locate them.

Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley described those claims as "just not credible" and also dismissed his attempts to blame his advisors saying "the obligations and duties were with him."

Becker was bailed ahead of sentencing, with each of the four counts on which he has been found guilty carrying a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

Boris Becker with Wimbledon trophy

Alex Jay, who is the head of insolvency and asset recovery at litigation firm Stewarts, told the Guardian of Becker's case: "Make no mistake, being found guilty in a criminal court of bankruptcy offences is quite rare.

"Most people, when bankrupted, cooperate with the bankruptcy process, at least to a degree that doesn't result in criminal charges being brought and proved.

"The level of Mr Becker's attempts to frustrate the process, and avoid repaying his creditors, must therefore have been quite exceptional."

In 2018, Becker claimed he was immune from bankruptcy proceedings because he held a diplomatic passport issued by the Central African Republic.

The CAR denied that, publicly stating the passport was fake, but Becker was initially adamant.

"I don't know what is internally happening within the politics [of CAR] but I have received the passport from the ambassador," he told the BBC.

"I have spoken to the president on many occasions. I believe the documents they have given me must be right."

He dropped that defence later that year.

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