Boris Becker “deliberately” keeps trophies won during his sports career, the prosecution said on Tuesday at the trial linked to the personal bankruptcy of the former German tennis player in London. The six-time Grand Slam winner is on trial for 24 charges relating to his bankruptcy in 2017, linked to a loan of 3.5 million euros from a private bank, Arbuthnot Latham, for a property in Spain.
“It’s not believable that he doesn’t know where they are”
The former world number one is notably accused of not having handed over, to pay off his debts, nine of the trophies he has won throughout his career, including two of his three Wimbledon cups, a trophy from the Australian Open and his Olympic gold medal won in 1992.
“Becker maintains that he does not know where these assets are,” prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley told the court. According to her, this statement is “fanciful” and the tennis player “deliberately withholds” the trophies. Becker said the missing trophies were of “no significant value” or “great interest” to him. “Having in mind what (these trophies) represent in terms of accomplishment and sacrifice for Becker over the years, the fact that they are not of great interest, whatever their monetary value, lack of credibility,” added the prosecutor.
“These trophies are among the most important of Becker’s career,” she said. “It’s not believable that he doesn’t know where they are. Boris Becker is also suspected of having concealed 1.13 million euros from the sale of a Mercedes dealership he owned in Germany, paid into his Boris Becker Private Office (BBPOL) account.
1.13 million euros hidden by Becker?
According to the prosecution, “Becker used the BBPOL account as an extension of his own account, like his own piggy bank, for day-to-day expenses like school fees for the children,” prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said. Among the payments made in 2017 were £643 to Polo Ralph Lauren, £7,600 in tuition fees and £976 to London luxury store Harrods.
He had also paid large sums to his ex-wife Barbara Becker, and his estranged wife Lilly. He would also have transferred 300,000 euros to his own account, while other funds were transferred to an account he held with his son Noah. He is also accused of not having declared two properties in Germany, as well as interests in a London apartment and of having hidden a loan of 825,000 euros.