SportsBoris Becker released after eight months in prison

    Boris Becker released after eight months in prison

    Boris Becker, last April, upon his arrival at the courts, in London.
    Boris Becker, last April, upon his arrival at the courts, in London.Frank Augstein (AP)

    Boris Becker (55 years old) has been released this Thursday, after spending eight months in prison in the United Kingdom. The former tennis player, with six Grand Slams to his credit, was sentenced last April to two and a half years in jail for misappropriation of assets. He hid assets worth almost three million euros to avoid paying taxes. As reported by the PA Media agency, Becker will be deported immediately, being a citizen under criminal conviction and without British nationality, although he lived in the United Kingdom since 2012.

    The athlete has been held since May in a low-security prison near the town of Henley-on-Thames, awaiting his deportation. Becker entered suspension of payments on June 21, 2017, and had debts worth more than 57 million euros. The situation precipitated when he was unable to meet the loan with which he bought a 3.5 million residence in Mallorca.

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    A popular jury found the tennis player guilty of four offenses against the British Insolvency Act. The prosecution accused Becker of having transferred up to 460,000 euros from his accounts to other banks, including that of his ex-wife Barbara Becker, to whom he allocated 33,000, and that of his second wife, from whom he is separated, Lilly, to whom he sent almost 100,000.

    “You have lost your career and your reputation, as well as all your assets. It is remarkable that he has not shown any sign of repentance or acknowledgment of his guilt,” Judge Deborah Taylor told Becker at the time, before sending him to the cells of the Southwark judicial premises, as a step prior to his imprisonment. “I understand the humiliation that you may have suffered throughout this process, but you have been incapable of showing any humility,” the magistrate reproached him.

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    Becker explained to the jury, during the process, that the more than 40 million euros he had earned during his splendid sports career were consumed by a very expensive divorce and “a series of commitments typical of a very expensive lifestyle.” The jury has acquitted the tennis player of 18 more accusations, including trying to hide all his trophies from creditors. But he hasn’t even been able to keep them.

    When the bankruptcy process was launched against the German athlete, he wanted to appear humble and collaborative, and even offered his wedding ring as part of the payment. At the same time, he had begun to hide the house in Leiman (Germany) where his mother lives, valued at 1.5 million euros; a loan of 824,000 euros that he had obtained from a Liechtenstein bank and much of his 75,000 shares in a Canadian artificial intelligence company. According to the Insolvency Law, Becker was obliged to disclose all those properties to the authorities when he entered bankruptcy in 2017. The prosecution also asked the jury, when delivering its verdict, to take into account the previous conviction for tax evasion by a German court in 2002: two and a half years in prison, which remained suspended, and a fine of almost three millions of euros.

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    Source: EL PAIS

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