Tennis legend Boris Becker is accused of hiding an international property portfolio from his bankruptcy proceedings, as well as millions of dollars and shares in an artificial intelligence company.
The 52-year-old Grand Slam champion was declared bankrupt in June 2017 and last year faced civil claims that he had failed to fully declare his estate to the Official Receiver.
The High Court imposed restrictions on Becker’s finances until 2031 amid concerns from the Insolvency Service that various transactions had been “undisclosed”.
In the latest twist in the saga, Becker is now facing 19 criminal charges where he is accused of concealing property, failing to disclose details of his estate, and not declaring large sums of money and a debt.
It is alleged he hid his stake of 75,000 shares in AI firm Breaking Data Corp and omitted to mention to the bankruptcy proceedings that there were bank accounts in Belgium and Guernsey.
Becker allegedly had a flat in Coleherne Court, Chelsea, which was not declared between June and October 2017, as well as two other properties in Germany.
He is further accused of not disclosing an £620,000 ($825,000) debt, hiding sums of money totalling £1.5million ($2,000,000), and not declaring bank accounts including one containing £1.2 million ($1,604,000).
In a statement on Wednesday, an Insolvency Service spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a prosecution has been brought against Boris Becker. The first hearing is on 24 September at Westminster Magistrates Court.”
Restrictions on Becker’s bankruptcy were initially imposed for just a year in 2017, but the retired tennis ace agreed to a 12-year Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking when accused last year of failing to be upfront about his finances.
The measures mean he currently cannot borrow more than £500 without informing the lender that he is bankrupt, is not allowed to act as a company director, and requires court permission to be involved in the running of a company.
Becker, who lives in Wimbledon, was a teenage tennis sensation from the mid-1980, securing millions in prize money during a trophy-laden career. But in recent years he has repeatedly been in the headlines for his financial woes.
In the prosecution brought by the Insolvency Service, on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, he has been charged with ten counts of concealing property from the bankruptcy receiver or trustee, two charges of failing to disclose property, three counts of failing to disclose details of an estate, concealing a debt, and three charges of omission in a statement of affairs by a bankrupt.
Becker has not yet entered any pleas and is due at Westminster magistrates court on September 24.