London (AFP) – Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker offered his wedding ring as he tried to pay off his debts, a London court heard on Wednesday on the third day of the German’s trial on charges related to his bankruptcy.
The six-time Grand Slam champion, 54, also wanted to sell his €10m ($11m, £8.3m) estate in Mallorca, Spain, in a bid to undo his bankruptcy, a jury said.
The former world number one is accused of hiding or failing to hand over assets, including two of his three men’s singles titles at Wimbledon and his Olympic gold medal in 1992.
Becker was declared bankrupt in June 2017, owing private bank Arbuthnot Latham more than £3m for a loan on the Balearic island property known as Finca.
Southwark Crown Court heard Becker was questioned at his Wimbledon home in July 2017 by Michael Bint, an assistant receiver for the Insolvency Service.
Bint agreed with Becker’s lawyer, Jonathan Laidlaw, that the commentator “was cooperative” during the rushed hour-long conversation because he was working for the BBC at the nearby tennis tournament.
“He offered you a walk around the house at Wimbledon to see what was there, he offered you an expensive wedding ring,” Laidlaw said.
“His overriding concern was to seek the annulment of the bankruptcy, to pay the debt, through the sale of the Finca, to Arbuthnot Latham.”
Bint admitted he failed to get Becker to sign a preliminary information questionnaire document – the only time he has done so in hundreds of cases since 2007.
“Mr Becker simply had to run away to go to Wimbledon,” he said. “Normally I would ask for a signed copy.”
As well as failing to gift memorabilia, including Becker’s 1991 and 1996 Australian Open trophies and his Davis Cup trophy and gold coin, he also allegedly hid $1.13 million. euros from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany.
The money would have been paid into his business account.
Jurors heard it was used as her own “piggy bank” to pay for personal expenses, such as her children’s school fees, and for shopping in luxury department stores in London.
Becker is said to have transferred hundreds of thousands of pounds to other accounts, including those of his ex-wife Barbara Becker and ex-wife Sharlely Becker.
He also allegedly failed to declare two German properties, as well as his interest in a £2.25million flat in Chelsea, west London, occupied by his daughter Anna Ermakova, and concealed a £825 bank loan. 000 euros.
Becker, who won 49 singles titles during his 16-year playing career, denies all charges against him.
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