Bernie Ecclestone charged with fraud over hidden £400m assets

Bernie Ecclestone will be charged with fraud by false representation over his overseas assets that are worth more than £400m.
 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team
- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team

Criminal proceedings against the former boss of F1 are now active, confirmed the Crown Prosecution Service.

Andrew Penhale, the Chief crown prosecutor, said: “The CPS has reviewed a file of evidence from HMRC and has authorised a charge against Bernard Ecclestone of fraud by false representation in respect of his failure to declare to HMRC the existence of assets held overseas believed to be worth in excess of £400m.

“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against this defendant are now active and that they have a right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Simon York, the director of HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service,  called this “a complex and worldwide criminal investigation”.

 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone
- Race, Bernie Ecclestone

He added: “ The criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400m of offshore assets which were concealed from HMRC.

"HMRC is on the side of honest taxpayers and we will take tough action wherever we suspect tax fraud. Our message is clear - no one is beyond our reach.”

The case against Ecclestone will be heard in court on August 22.

 - Qualifying, Bernie Ecclestone
- Qualifying, Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone apologised for Putin comments...

The 91-year-old, who stepped down as F1 chief executive in 2017, apologised for recent comments where he appeared to praise Russian president Vladimir Putin by saying "I'd take a bullet for him".

“So I think often people come out and say things or do things without really too much thinking," he said to Sky. "Probably I did the same. I can understand people thinking that I’m defending what he’s done in Ukraine, which I don’t."

... But Bernie Ecclestone did not apologise to Lewis Hamilton

The ex-Formula 1 supremo did not extend his apologies to Lewis Hamilton after becoming caught up in the racism row after Nelson Piquet's comments.

Former F1 champion Piquet apologised for using a racist word to describe Hamilton, but claimed he didn't intend it to be racist.

Ecclestone then said Hamilton "should be happy" to have received Piquet's apology.

Bernie Ecclestone denied being arrested for possessing a gun

He recently denied reports that he was arrested for possession of an illegal firearm while boarding an aeroplane in Brazil.

Sao Paulo state public security office confirmed that someone was arrested for this reason but did not name who.

Ecclestone told Reuters "I was never arrested" but confirmed that he had to pay $1,260 in order to leave.

"It was a bleeding drama, unnecessary, over a nothing," Ecclestone said.

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