The six-time Grand Slam tennis champion denies the charges.
22 March 2022
Six-time Grand Slam tennis champion Boris Becker used his business account as his own “piggy bank” to pay personal expenses such as his children’s school fees, a court has heard.
The former world number one, 54, also spent hundreds of pounds at luxury department store Harrods, bought online groceries at Ocado and treated himself to designer Ralph Lauren clothes, a jury heard.
Becker, who commentated for the BBC at Wimbledon last year, is on trial at Southwark Crown Court charged with 24 offences under the Insolvency Act relating to his June 2017 bankruptcy over a £3.5 million loan from private bank Arbuthnot Latham for a property in Mallorca, Spain.
The German national is alleged to have hidden 1.13 million euros (around £950,000) from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany, which was paid into his Boris Becker Private Office (BBPOL) account.
Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said on Tuesday: “It is the prosecution case that Mr Becker used the BBPOL sterling account as an extension of his own account, effectively as his own piggy bank, for everyday personal expenses such as school fees for the children and such like.”
She said payments in 2017 included £643 to Polo Ralph Lauren, £7,600 for school fees, £976 to Harrods and more than £1,000 at Ocado.
Ms Chalkley told jurors Becker paid his ex-wife Barbara Becker 23,000 euros (£19,000), estranged wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker 100,000 euros (£83,000) and transferred £225,000 to a friend.
He also transferred 300,000 euros (£249,000) to his own account, while other funds went into an account he jointly held with his son Noah, the court heard.
Becker is also accused of failing to hand over assets including trophies such as the 1985 and 1989 Wimbledon men’s singles title, his Australian Open trophies from 1991 and 1996 and his 1992 Olympic gold medal.
He also allegedly failed to declare two German properties, as well as his interest in a flat in Chelsea, west London, and hid an 825,000 euro (almost £700,000) bank loan.
Becker, who won 49 singles titles out of 77 finals during his 16 years as a professional tennis player, is being supported in court by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.
He denies nine counts of failing to deliver up trophies and other awards, seven counts of concealing property, five counts of failing to disclose estate, two of removal of property and one of concealing debt.
The prosecution is being brought by the Insolvency Service on behalf of Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
The trial continues.