Boris Becker, former No. 1 tennis player in the world, was convicted of financial crimes and must go to jail

The legendary former German tennis player Boris Becker, winner of six Grand Slam tournaments, He was sentenced this Friday by a British court to two years and six months in prison, of which he will serve half, for four financial crimes related to his bankruptcy in 2017.

The sentence is known after the Southwark court in London found him guilty of these crimes on April 8, committed between June 21 and October 3, 2017.

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The jury considered it proven that the former number one in the world hid assets and loans worth about 3.5 million pounds (about 4 million euros) in order to avoid paying its debts, which amount to about 50 million pounds (60 million euros).

Former tennis player Boris Becker arrives at Southwark Royal Court for sentencing, Friday, April 29, 2022, in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

After hearing Judge Deborah Taylor’s ruling, Becker was taken to the court cells to begin his sentence. Announcing your decisionthe magistrate reproached the athlete for not learning his lesson after receiving a suspended prison sentence in Germany in 2002, what has been considered “a significant aggravating circumstance” in this case.

“I take into account what has been described (during the process) as his fall from grace. He has lost his career and reputation and all of his property as a result of his bankruptcy.” declared the magistrate.

Nevertheless, “He has not shown remorse or acceptance of his guilt and has sought to distance himself from crime and bankruptcy,” he added.

“While I accept that he has been humiliated as part of the proceedings, he has not shown humility,” Taylor maintained.

Among the charges brought, the winner of three Wimbledon titles – the first at age 17, the youngest male player in history to win it – transferred 427,000 euros from his business accounts to others, like that of his ex-wife, Barbara Becker.

He also hid his stake in a property in his hometown of Leimen, Germany, a loan of 825,000 euros and shares in a technology company.

The jury acquitted him instead of 20 other charges against him, including not having delivered trophies and medals that were put up for auction by an administrator after his bankruptcy.

Arriving at court this FridayBecker was accompanied by his partner, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, and Noah, the eldest of his four children.

Boris Becker on his arrival at the British Court of Justice which sentenced him to two years and six months in prison.  He arrived accompanied by his wife, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro (REUTERS / Toby Melville).
Boris Becker on his arrival at the British Court of Justice which sentenced him to two years and six months in prison. He arrived accompanied by his wife, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro (REUTERS / Toby Melville).For: REUTERS

The tennis player was declared insolvent on June 21, 2017 following the non-payment of a bank loan for some 3.8 million euros to remortgage a property on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

In 2002, the German, who has resided in the UK since 2012, He had already been sentenced in his country to two years of probation and to pay half a million euros for tax evasion between 1991 and 1993.

In recent years, the former tennis player has combined his work as a coach, helping players like Novak Djokovic, with that of a commentator in the media, as he usually does at the Wimbledon tournament with the British network BBC.

Becker, dishonest

“Mr. Becker acted dishonestly regarding the ownership of various assets, which he concealed on numerous occasions. The indictment contends that Becker did this before and after he filed for bankruptcy,” said prosecuting attorney Rebecca Chalkley.

Among the objects that Becker did not deliver to settle his debt are his Wimbledon trophies in 1985 and 1989, as well as those of the Australian Open in 1991 and 1996 and the Olympic gold medal won in Barcelona in the doubles category.

Becker also hid €1.13 million from the sale of a Mercedes car in Germany, in addition to failing to declare two houses in Germany and one in London. As mentioned, he also did not report a loan received from a bank in the amount of 825,000 euros.

“For hundreds of years, people who have filed for bankruptcy have abused the system and gamed it, acting in bad faith. These people should be punished for it and that is what the prosecution believes Becker did here,” Chalkley said.

The seven Grand Slam titles Boris Becker won

  • Australian Open 1991 and 1996
  • Wimbledon: 1985, 1986 and 1989
  • US Open: 1989