LONDON – Tennis great Boris Becker could face jail time on Friday after being found guilty of illegally transferring thousands of dollars from a bank account after being declared bankrupt.
A jury in London’s Southwark Crown Court has found Baker guilty of four counts under bankruptcy law, including two counts of misappropriation of property, concealment of debt and failure to disclose property.
The German star has been found to have transferred several thousand pounds from his business account, including his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Shirley “Lily” Baker, after going bankrupt in June 2017.
He was also convicted of failing to declare a property in Germany and hiding a bank loan and shares of 825,000 euros ($ 1.13 million Canadian) in a tech firm.
He was acquitted of 20 more counters, including two Wimbledon trophies and an Olympic gold medal for failing to hand over many of his prizes.
The six-time Grand Slam champion denied all allegations, saying he had collaborated with trustees responsible for protecting his assets – even offered his wedding ring – and acted on expert advice.
Baker’s bankruptcy resulted in a loan of 4.6 million euros ($ 6.3 million Canadian) from a private bank in 2013, as well as about 6 1.6 million borrowed from a US businessman, according to the trial.
During the trial, Baker, 54, said his 50 million career earnings were swallowed up by an “expensive divorce” and paying off debt when he lost a large portion of his income after retirement.
He said he had a “promise of an expensive life” including a house at Wimbledon with rent of ,000 22,000 ($ 30,110) per month. However, he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Brand Baker’s. Close his debt.
“(It’s) very difficult when you’re bankrupt and heading for it every week,” he told the jury. “It’s very difficult to make a lot of money with my name.”
The charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. Baker was granted bail until the April 29 sentencing hearing.