Six-time grand slam champion Boris Becker was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail on Friday for flouting the terms of his bankruptcy in 2017, according to the UK’s Insolvency Service.
Earlier this month, the 54-year-old Becker, a former world No. 1 and three-time Wimbledon champion, was found guilty of four offenses relating to his bankruptcy, including failing to disclose, concealing and removing significant assets, the Insolvency Service said.
During the sentencing at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Becker, supported by partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, wore a grey suit, white shirt and a striped tie in the Wimbledon colors of green and purple.
Judge Deborah Taylor, who handed down the sentence, said the former tennis player will serve half the sentence.
“I take into account what has been described as your fall from grace. You have lost your career and reputation and all of your property as a result of your bankruptcy,” said the judge, according to the Press Association (PA).
“You have not shown remorse, acceptance of your guilt and have sought to distance yourself from your offending and your bankruptcy.
“While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there has been no humility.”
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Becker was declared bankrupt in June 2017, meaning he was legally obliged to disclose all his assets.
The assets he concealed included €426,930.90 (around $450,000) – which was transferred to several third parties – a property in Leiman, Germany, and 75,000 shares in Breaking Data Corp, according to the Insolvency Service.
Becker “was selective in the declaration of his assets. When it suited him, he made full disclosure; when it didn’t, he didn’t,” said prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley, who had urged the judge to pass a custodial sentence, according to Reuters.
She accused Becker of “playing the system with bad faith” by concealing and transferring assets and depriving creditors of more than two million pounds ($2.51 million) in assets.
“Today’s verdict confirms that Boris Becker failed to comply with his legal obligation to declare significant assets in his bankruptcy,” said Dean Beale, chief executive of the Insolvency Service.
“This conviction serves as a clear warning to those who think they can hide their assets and get away with it. You will be found out and prosecuted.”
Becker made tennis history when he won Wimbledon aged 17 in 1985 and went on to win five more grand slam titles over the next 11 years.
He has remained active in the tennis world since retiring from the sport, notably as the coach of Novak Djokovic and through frequent media appearances as a commentator and pundit.
According to PA, Becker’s lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw told the court that the “proceedings have destroyed his career entirely and ruined any further prospect of earning an income.”
“His reputation is in tatters,” added Laidlaw. “He will not be able to find work and will have to rely on the charity of others if he is to survive.”