Tennis legend Boris Becker, the world's former number one champion, has been sentenced by a London court to two-and-a-half years in prison for attempting to conceal millions worth of assets in a bankruptcy fraud case.
Despite his reported $50 million in total career earnings, the three-time Wimbledon champ has since the early 2000s in post-retirement tangled on multiple occasions with the law over tax evasion, having in 2002 been handed a (suspended) 2-year prison sentence in his native Germany.
He showed up at his Friday sentencing in central London wearing a Wimbledon tie, The Daily Mail reports, after being found guilty on April 8 of "transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account and failing to declare a property in his hometown of Leimen, Germany."
He had faced potentially up to a 7-year jail sentence, but got two-and-a-half years after being cleared on 20 counts - most of them related to the Insolvency Act, while four stuck, after his declaration of bankruptcy in 2017 - and allegations of hiding funds.
As the BBC describes, he prosecutors say he tried to conceal some £390,000 in payments by sending it to others while failing to pay a loan of £3m on a luxury estate in Mallorca, Spain:
Earlier this month, after two weeks or so hearing evidence, jurors found Becker guilty of removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt.
They acquitted him on a further 20 charges, including nine counts of failing to hand over his tennis trophies and medals, including two from Wimbledon.
Becker on April 8 immediately after the conviction...
Boris Becker leaves court after his greatest defeat - faces up to seven years jail after conviction of concealing assets from bankruptcy trustees. pic.twitter.com/jPB0hIMXCe— David Brown (@DavidhBrown) April 8, 2022
The tennis legend arriving to the central London courthouse this morning:
Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker arrives for sentencing at London court pic.twitter.com/pw2GejoTXy— The Sun (@TheSun) April 29, 2022
The prosecution during Friday's sentence hearing had focused its presentation before the court on Becker having acted “deliberately and dishonestly” and further that he is “still seeking to blame others."
According to further background on the case:
Becker’s bankruptcy stemmed from a 4.6 million euro ($5 million) loan from a private bank in 2013, as well as about $1.6 million borrowed from a British businessman the year after, according to testimony at the trial.
During the trial Becker, said his $50 million career earnings had been swallowed up by payments for an “expensive divorce” and debts when he lost large chunks of his income after retirement.
And despite being among the most recognized names in all of Tennis history, the six-time Grand Slam winner has admitted that his 'tragic' actions have left him with "literally nothing".