• Sports - Formula 1 - Gossips
  • Updated: October 12, 2023

Bernie Ecclestone: Former F1 Boss Pleads Guilty To Fraud

Bernie Ecclestone: Former F1 Boss Pleads Guilty To Fraud

Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has pleaded guilty to fraud over a failure to declare more than £400 million held in a trust in Singapore to the government.

Ecclestone, who turns 93 later this month, had been due to go on trial at Southwark Crown Court next month having previously pleaded not guilty.

He was charged following a tax investigation by HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) into his finances.

The court has previously heard the billionaire failed to disclose a trust to the government with a bank account containing around $650 million US, worth about £400 million in July 2015.

But appearing at the same court on Thursday, he told the judge: "I plead guilty."

Prosecutors said Ecclestone had knowingly given an "untrue or misleading" answer to HMRC, when he said he "established only a single trust" on behalf of his daughters Deborah, Tamara and Petra.

They also said the defendant told HMRC officers that he had no further trusts "in or outside the UK."

Speaking in court following Ecclestone's guilty plea, prosecutor Richard Wright KC said: "That answer was untrue or misleading. 

"Mr Ecclestone knew his answer may have been untrue or misleading.

"As of 7 July 2015, Mr Ecclestone did not know the truth of the position, so was not able to give an answer to the question.

"Mr Ecclestone was not entirely clear on how ownership of the accounts in question were structured.

"He therefore did not know whether it was liable for tax, interest or penalties in relation to amounts passing through the accounts.

"Mr Ecclestone recognises it was wrong to answer the questions he did because it ran the risk that HMRC would not continue to investigate his affairs.

"He now accepts that some tax is due in relation to these matters."

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