The German tennis legend appeared in court as he faces a bankruptcy trial, and on Thursday it was heard the trophies he won had been auctioned off for £700,000 to pay his debts .
Tennis trophies won by Boris Becker have been auctioned off for £700,000 to pay his debts, a court heard on Thursday. The tennis icon was declared bankrupt in June 2017 and is accused of failing to meet disclosure obligations.
He is accused of failing to hand over nine other awards, including two of his three men’s singles titles at Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal won in 1992. Southwark Crown Court was told on Thursday he was ” frustrated” with the bankruptcy process, which is still ongoing.
He also felt ‘badly treated’ by private bank Arbuthnot Latham, who brought proceedings over a debt of more than £3m over a loan on the Becker estate on the Spanish island of Mallorca – including part was subject to an annual interest rate of 25%. One of those who helped Becker recover his possessions, administrator Mark Ford, spoke of Becker’s emotional state when he was separated from his beloved trophies and said their relationship was “strained “.
The jury heard on Thursday that in conversation with Mr Ford, the tennis star said: “Mark, do you think, given the fact that I now face criminal charges in relation to these trophies, that if I had access to them, didn’t I give them to you?”
Becker’s lawyer, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, explained that players are allowed to keep miniature versions of the trophies presented to them during the on-pitch presentation. Mr Laidlaw showed jurors a replica of his 1986 President’s Cup which he says was given by Becker to his mother, as well as his Wimbledon title from the same year, neither of which are included in the charges which he faces.
The court also heard how other memorabilia taken from Becker and his mother’s German home were sold to help pay off the former world number one’s debts. “There was an auction that brought in something like £700,000,” Mr Laidlaw said.
Becker, who won 49 singles titles in 77 finals over 16 years, is denying 24 charges under insolvency law. Becker was accused of failing to turn over assets in order to settle his debts. The German star has been called on to hand over a number of trophies such as the 1985 Wimbledon singles title which he won aged just 17 as well as his awards winning the Australian Open crowns in 1991 and 1996.
Prior to trial, Becker denied seven counts of concealing property, two counts of removing property required by the receiver. It also includes five counts of failing to disclose details of his estate and one count of concealing debts.
The tennis legend also denies nine counts of non-disclosure of trophies, which were in his custody or control, and which he was required by law to hand over.
As well as failing to offer memorabilia, Becker is accused of hiding around £950,000 from a Mercedes car dealership sale he owned in Germany.
The money was allegedly paid into his Boris Becker Private Office Ltd business account, which he used as a “piggy bank” to pay for personal expenses, such as his children’s school fees, the court was also told.
Becker allegedly sent hundreds of thousands of pounds to other accounts, including those of his ex-wife Barbara Becker and ex-wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.
The 54-year-old 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 hid a bank loan of nearly £700.00). as well as shares in a technology company.
The court heard Becker, who is supported by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, was previously convicted of tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002. The trial is continuing and is expected to last three weeks.