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Tennis champion Boris Becker was jailed for two-and-a-half years by a London court after being found guilty for deliberately ignoring the terms of his bankruptcy agreement. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Tennis champion Boris Becker was jailed for two-and-a-half years by a London court after being found guilty for deliberately ignoring the terms of his bankruptcy agreement. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Tennis champion Boris Becker was jailed for two-and-a-half years by a London court after being found guilty for deliberately ignoring the terms of his bankruptcy agreement.

Becker, a three-time Wimbledon winner, was accused of “deliberately and dishonestly” putting funds out of reach of creditors. Becker, who was declared bankrupt in 2017 with debts of more than £40m (R794m), previously said that his career earnings were used up in his divorce as well as “expensive lifestyle commitments.”

Judge Deborah Taylor said Becker had lost his career and his reputation. 

“You’ve not shown remorse or acceptance of your guilt,” Taylor said. “While I accept the humiliation you may have felt during these proceedings, there has been no humility.”

The sentence caps a remarkable fall from grace for the youngest ever winner of the men’s singles at Wimbledon and former world number one. Becker, 54, was convicted by a London jury of four offences including the removal of hundreds of thousands of euros of cash from business accounts as well as hiding a bank loan from the bankruptcy estate. Prosecutors called it a “breach of trust.” 

A lawyer for Becker said the tennis star was acquitted on the overwhelming majority of counts. The funds were transferred for child maintenance payments and to pay off his household expenses.

Jonathan Laidlaw had asked for a suspended two-year jail sentence, saying there was no evidence of any fraud or even any sophisticated financial planning. Becker’s “financial affairs were a mess and they were chaotic.”

“Boris Becker has literally nothing. And there is nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers,” Laidlaw said, calling it the “most public of humiliations.”

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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