Boris Becker bankruptcy trial: Becker ‘acted dishonestly’

Boris Becker bankruptcy trial: Becker ‘acted dishonestly’ in not handing over trophies, court says- Boris Becker ‘acted dishonestly’ when he failed to hand over nine trophies and medals won during his illustrious tennis career to pay his debts, a UK court heard on Monday. Follow sports news on

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The 54-year-old former world number one was declared bankrupt in 2017 after borrowing around £3.5m ($4.6m) from private bank Arbuthnot Latham for a property in Mallorca, Spain, a jury said.

The six-time Grand Slam champion, accused of hiding or failing to hand over assets before and after his bankruptcy, is on trial in London on 24 counts relating to the period between May and October 2017.

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Boris Becker bankruptcy trial: Becker ‘acted dishonestly’ in not handing over trophies, court told

Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said the assets included silverware like Wimbledon trophies from 1985 and 1989, Becker’s Australian Open trophies from 1991 and 1996 and his men’s doubles Olympic gold medal from 1992.

The German, who commentated for the BBC at Wimbledon last year, is accused of concealing 1.13 million euros ($1.25 million) from the sale of a car dealership he owned in Germany and transferring funds to other bank accounts.

He also allegedly failed to declare two German properties, as well as his interest in a flat in London, and hid a bank loan of 825,000 euros. “It is the accusation that Mr. Becker acted dishonestly with respect to a number of his assets, that he has, in various ways,
effectively hidden or made inaccessible to those responsible for identifying the assets,” Chalkley said.

“The Crown said Mr. Becker did so before and after the date of his bankruptcy settlement by not disclosing, providing, delivering or removing assets or valuables. .” Becker, who has won 49 singles titles in his 16 years as a professional player, arrived at Southwark Crown Court in south London hand in hand with partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.

Boris Becker bankruptcy trial: Becker ‘acted dishonestly’ in not handing over trophies, court told

He sat in the dock wearing a dark suit and white shirt, next to a German translator who is helping him during the trial. Judge Deborah Taylor said it was not suggested that Becker “does not speak English” but that he might need help with “technical vocabulary such as legal concepts”.

She told the jury, “You have to ignore the celebrity of this defendant and treat him exactly the same as you would treat someone you haven’t heard of and who is not in the public eye.”
Chalkley said the “bankruptcy market” relies on bankrupts “to be honest and fully disclose their assets,” saying there was a strong public interest “in prosecuting those who break their promise.

The trial is expected to last up to three weeks. Becker, with strawberry blonde hair, shook the tennis world in 1985 when he became Wimbledon’s youngest men’s singles champion at the age of 17, repeating the feat the following year.

Boris Becker bankruptcy trial: Becker ‘acted dishonestly’ in not handing over trophies, court told

The German’s dynamic style and youthful enthusiasm – best captured in his penchant for spectacular diving volleys on the Wimbledon grass – made him a darling of the crowds at the All England Club. Nicknamed “Boom Boom” Becker for his ferocious serve, he won Wimbledon for the third time in 1989.

He also won the Australian Open twice and the US Open during his illustrious career, becoming the highest-ranked player in the world in 1991. Becker turned to commentary after his retirement, notching a prominent role at the BBC, but returned to court in 2013
as Novak Djokovic’s coach, helping the Serb win six more Grand Slam trophies before the duo parted ways in 2016.

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