Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker guilty of four charges over 2017 bankruptcy

8 April 2022, 14:45 | Updated: 8 April 2022, 17:11

Boris Becker was found guilty of four charges under the insolvency act
Boris Becker was found guilty of four charges under the insolvency act. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of four charges under the Insolvency Act and acquitted of a further 20 counts relating to his 2017 bankruptcy.

The six-time grand slam champion, 54, was accused of hiding millions of pounds worth of assets, including two Wimbledon trophies, to avoid paying his debts.

Former world number one Becker was declared bankrupt on June 21 2017 over an unpaid loan of more than £3 million on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.

The German national, who has lived in the UK since 2012, claimed he had cooperated with trustees tasked with securing his assets, even offering up his wedding ring, and had acted on expert advice.

Boris Becker (C), his partner Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro (L) and his son Elias Balthasar Becker
Boris Becker (C), his partner Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro (L) and his son Elias Balthasar Becker. Picture: Alamy

Becker, who was supported throughout the trial by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act by a jury at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, including removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt.

The court heard during the trial that the former world number one earned a "vast amount" of money during his career, winning about 50 million US dollars (about £38 million) in prize money and sponsorship deals.

But Becker, who went on to coach current world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, said his earnings "reduced dramatically" following his retirement in 1999.

He said he was involved in an "expensive divorce" from ex-wife Barbara Becker in 2001, which included high maintenance payments to their two sons.

German national Becker, who was resident in Monte Carlo and Switzerland before moving to the UK in 2012, also said he had "expensive lifestyle commitments".

He owed the Swiss authorities five million francs (about £4 million) and separately just under one million euro (more than £800,000) in liabilities over a conviction for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002.

Giving evidence during the trial, which began on March 21, Becker denied giving bankruptcy officials the "runaround" over missing trophies, saying that was "not correct".

The three-time Wimbledon winner, who was acquitted of a further 20 counts, was bailed ahead of sentencing at the same court on April 29.