Dhe former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is accused of fraud. The British public prosecutor’s office, the Crown Prosecution Service, announced on Monday that assets abroad worth more than 400 million pounds (472.6 million euros) are at stake. Accordingly, the 91-year-old is said to have concealed the possessions from the British tax authorities.
“Prosecutors are reminding all concerned that this defendant is now criminally prosecuted and has the right to a fair trial,” said Attorney General Andrew Penhale. The first hearing is scheduled for August 22 in London. Theoretically, a sentence of up to ten years in prison is possible.
Ecclestone has shaped Formula 1 like no other since taking over the advertising and television rights at the end of the 1970s. The Brit, who is just under 1.60 meters tall, made the series as a powerful managing director into a global and billion-dollar company. Ecclestone kept opening up new markets, and he did not shy away from politically controversial countries and rulers. With his opinion on dictatorships and other controversial statements, he repeatedly caused a lack of understanding and scandals.
In addition, it will not be his first time in court. Because of the sale of Formula 1 to the investment company CVC in 2006, Ecclestone had to answer in April 2013 as a defendant in Munich and face charges of bribery. In August of the same year, the case was dropped for a fee of $100 million. In January 2017, Ecclestone was removed as CEO by new Formula 1 owners Liberty Media.