Boris Becker ‘played’ bankruptcy system, jury hears | UK news

Boris Becker dishonestly ‘played’ the bankruptcy system, hiding money, property and trophies from authorities, a court heard at the start of his trial.

The multiple Grand Slam winner is charged with 24 counts relating to concealment of assets, nine of which relate to trophies and medals won during his illustrious playing career, including his maiden Wimbledon men’s championship when he burst onto the world stage at just 17 years old. years. Becker denies all charges.

Opening the prosecution’s case at Southwark Crown Court in central London on Monday, Rebecca Chalkley told members of the jury that while the ongoing questions may have made their hearts sink, they ” come down to day-to-day issues of dishonesty and knowledge. That’s what we’re saying is at the heart of this case.”

She said the former tennis champion had broken the “bankruptcy bargain” whereby bankrupts are protected from their creditors in return for full disclosure of their assets.

“There is a consistent policy throughout the history of bankruptcy law, which dates back hundreds of years, that bankrupts who game the system, act in bad faith, should be punished and that, in short, that’s what the prosecution says Mr. Becker did here,” she said.

She continued: “It is the prosecution’s case … that Mr. Becker acted dishonestly with respect to a number of his assets.”

Becker, 54, is accused of hiding properties in Germany and England, shares and more than €2.07m (£1.7m), including €1.14m from of the sale of a car dealership. As well as the 1985 All England Club trophy, which made Becker the youngest Wimbledon men’s singles champion, he is accused of concealing the 1985 and 1989 President’s Cup, a Davis Cup gold coin of 1988 and the Davis Cup trophy of 1989, the Wimbledon trophy of 1989, Australian Open Trophies 1991 and 1996 and an Olympic gold medal in 1992.

The court heard that Becker was declared bankrupt in June 2017 at the request of Arbuthnot Latham bank after failing to repay a €3.5 million loan given to him for a property in Mallorca, Spain .

The charges relate to the period between May and October 2017. Chalkely said the allegations relate to Becker’s actions prior to bankruptcy, at a time when he was “essentially savvy” about the likelihood of bankruptcy, along with a team of attorneys and on-site advisors to help, including challenging the bankruptcy, as well as after it.

Becker has lived in the UK since 2012 and is a regular BBC commentator at Wimbledon. Dressed in a navy blue suit and a white shirt, he was accompanied in the dock by a translator. Judge Deborah Taylor told the jury that Becker spoke English but might need help with “technical vocabulary such as legal concepts.”

The judge also told the jury, “You must ignore this defendant’s celebrity and treat him exactly the same way you would treat someone you haven’t heard of and who isn’t known to the public.”

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

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