Why Boris Becker should spend 2.5 years behind bars
The British court delivered its verdict on the former world number one and three-time Wimbledon champion. Get away with a fine and suspended sentence was not possible. Back in early April, six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker was found guilty by a jury in London on four charges of violating the law of insolvency or bankruptcy. Under the law, the former world number one could face up to seven years in prison. And now, finally, the verdict was announced.
The famous German tennis player was declared bankrupt in 2017 because of an unpaid loan taken for the purchase of real estate on the fashionable resort island of Mallorca. The amount in question was €3.6 million. But, as it turned out later, during the bankruptcy procedure Becker had hidden some assets, including sports prizes. As a result of the investigation, Boris was charged with 24 counts, and on four of them a jury in the Royal Court of South London found him guilty. In particular, it was proved that the former tennis player transferred property worth € 427 thousand to some people, including two ex-wives, tried to conceal ownership of the house in Germany worth € 2.16 million and shares of Breaking Data Corp. and also concealed loans of € 825 thousand from a bank in Liechtenstein. In total, Boris Becker concealed assets worth more than €3 million.
During the trial, the 54-year-old Becker completely denied guilt. He claimed that he cooperated with special authorities in connection with the bankruptcy proceedings and fully relied on his advisors. According to the former tennis player, he did not know the whereabouts of some of his trophies. And by the way, the charge of hiding the Olympic gold medal and several winning trophies from Wimbledon was dismissed from Boris along with other 19 counts.
It is worth recalling that Becker had already been convicted of tax evasion in Germany in 2002, but then he got off with a suspended prison sentence. The episode was now mentioned by judge Debra Taylor when she read out the sentence to the tennis player: “You did not heed the warning given to you and the chance that you were given a suspended sentence, and that is a significant aggravating circumstance. As a result, the London court sentenced Boris to 2.5 years in prison.
Before the announcement of the sentence the 86-year-old mother of the tennis player Elvira appealed to the judge, who asked to show mercy: “I hope that my son is not going to jail. I hope my son will not go to jail. Note that when an auction was held in 2019 to pay off some of the tennis player’s debts and his sports trophies were up for auction, the organizing company searched all over England and Germany for the awards. One of the cups was found in the home of Boris’ mother. The woman claimed that her son gave her the trophy, but the prize still turned out to be one of the lots.
During his sporting career Boris Becker won 49 titles, including six Grand Slam tournaments, including three Wimbledons and three ATP Championships, spent 12 weeks as world number one, won the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in doubles, twice won the Davis Cup and once the Hopman Cup with Germany. In 2003, Boris Becker was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. From 2013 to 2016 Becker was the coach of Novak Djokovic. During that time, the famous Serb under Becker’s guidance has compiled a complete Career Slam and won a total of six Majors, 14 Masters Series tournaments and two ATP Final Championships.
During his career as a player, Boris earned $25,080,956 in prize money.