'No humility': Tennis legend Boris Becker jailed over $4m fraud

·3-min read
Tennis icon Boris Becker (pictured right) holding the Wimbledon trophy and (pictured left) walking to court with his partner.
Tennis icon Boris Becker (pictured right) has been jailed for two and a half years after hiding hundreds of thousands of pounds of assets after declaring bankruptcy. (Getty Images)

Tennis great Boris Becker has been jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of assets after declaring bankruptcy.

Earlier this month, Becker was convicted of four charges under Britain's Insolvency Act, including failing to disclose, concealing and removing significant assets following a bankruptcy trial.

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The German was found guilty in court of transferring money to his former wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharley in 2017 after he had declared bankruptcy.

And the judge claimed the six-time grand slam champion, who was wearing his Wimbledon tie in court, had shown no remorse during his time pleading his case.

"It is notable you have not shown remorse or acceptance of your guilt," judge Deborah Taylor told him at London's Southwark Crown Court.

"While I accept the humiliation you have felt as a result of these proceedings, you have shown no humility."

Judge Taylor said Becker would serve at least half his sentence behind bars after it was found Becker had hid around $4.4 million worth of assets in order to avoid paying his debts.

Tennis icon Boris Becker's troubled past

Becker has found himself in trouble with authorities in the past.

The two-time Australian Open winner was convicted of tax evasion in Germany back in 2002, which resulted in a suspended prison sentence.

The British court heard how Becker had managed to lose his fortune following his glittering career.

Former tennis star Boris Becker (pictured) arrives at the Southwark Crown Court for sentencing after being found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act in relation to his bankruptcy.
Former tennis star Boris Becker (pictured) was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. (Getty Images)

Becker claimed he didn't know where his trophies were and how he took a big high-interest loan from a British businessman.

He also claimed to have diplomatic protection from the Central African Republic in order to avoid bankruptcy.

Becker's lawyer claimed the tennis icon had been publicly humiliated throughout the trial as they appealed for leniency in the sentencing.

Jonathan Laidlaw, Becker's lawyer, told the court the tennis player had been left with "literally nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers".

He was convicted of failing to declare a property in Germany, hiding an 825,000 euro ($A1.2 million) bank loan and shares in a Canadian technology firm.

"We have noted the verdict regarding Boris Becker with regret," the German Tennis Federation (DTB) said.

Former German tennis player Boris Becker (pictured right) and ex-wife Lilly (pictured left) pose for a photo.
Former tennis star Boris Becker (pictured right) was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. (Getty Images)

"We wish him a lot of strength for the future. He will forever be part of our tennis family."

Becker had denied all charges, saying he'd cooperated with the bankruptcy proceedings - even offering up his wedding ring - and had relied on his advisers.

Becker was acquitted of 20 other counts, including charges that he failed to hand over other assets, including two Wimbledon trophies and an Olympic gold medal.

"His reputation, an essential part of the brand, which gives him work, is in tatters," Laidlaw said.

"His fall is not simply a fall from grace and amounts to the most public of humiliations."

with AAP

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