Becker gets 2 1/2 years in prison for bankruptcy offenses

Apr 28, 2022, 8:03 PM | Updated: Apr 29, 2022, 9:02 am
Former Tennis player Boris Becker arrives at Southwark Crown Court for sentencing in London, Friday...

Former Tennis player Boris Becker arrives at Southwark Crown Court for sentencing in London, Friday, April 29, 2022. Becker was found guilty earlier of dodging his obligation to disclose financial information to settle his debts.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

LONDON (AP) — Tennis great Boris Becker was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on Friday for illicitly transferring large amounts of money and hiding assets after he was declared bankrupt.

The three-time Wimbledon champion was convicted earlier this month on four charges under the Insolvency Act and had faced a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Judge Deborah Taylor announced the sentence after hearing arguments from both the prosecutor and Becker’s attorney. She told the former top-ranked player that he’s shown no remorse.

“While I accept your humiliation as part of the proceedings, there has been no humility,” Taylor said.

Becker will have to serve at least 15 months before being eligible for release.

The 54-year-old German was found to have transferred hundreds of thousands of pounds (dollars) after his June 2017 bankruptcy from his business account to other accounts, including those of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.

Becker was also convicted of failing to declare a property in Germany and hiding an 825,000 euro ($871,000) bank loan and shares in a tech firm.

The jury at Southwark Crown Court in London acquitted him on 20 other counts, including charges that he failed to hand over his many awards, including two Wimbledon trophies and an Olympic gold medal.

Becker, wearing a striped tie in Wimbledon’s purple and green colors, walked into the courthouse hand in hand with girlfriend Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.

The six-time Grand Slam champion has denied all the charges, saying he had cooperated with trustees tasked with securing his assets — even offering up his wedding ring — and had acted on expert advice.

At Friday’s sentencing hearing, prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said Becker had acted “deliberately and dishonestly” and that he was “still seeking to blame others.”

Defense attorney Jonathan Laidlaw argued for leniency, saying his client hadn’t spent money on a “lavish lifestyle” but rather on child support, rent and legal and business expenses. Becker, he told the court, has experienced “public humiliation” and has no future earnings potential.

The judge said Becker’s two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002 was “a significant aggravating factor” in her decision Friday. She said he “did not heed the warning” and opportunity of that suspended sentence.

Becker’s bankruptcy stemmed from a 4.6 million euro ($5 million) loan from a private bank in 2013, as well as about $1.6 million borrowed from a British businessman the year after, according to testimony at the trial.

During the trial Becker, said his $50 million career earnings had been swallowed up by payments for an “expensive divorce” and debts when he lost large chunks of his income after retirement.

Becker rose to stardom in 1985 at the age of 17 when he became the first unseeded player to win the Wimbledon singles title and later rose to the No. 1 ranking. He has lived in Britain since 2012.

___

More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Sky take No. 2 seed in playoffs after cruising past Mercury

PHOENIX (AP) — Azura Stevens scored 17 points and Chicago wrapped up the regular season with an 82-67 victory over Phoenix on Sunday. Chicago (26-10), the defending WNBA champion, had an opportunity to take the No. 1 playoff seed had Las Vegas (also 26-10) lost its regular-season finale earlier on Sunday. However, the Aces defeated […]
18 hours ago
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Jesper Horsted is tackled by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Parry Nickers...
Associated Press

Raiders move to 2-0 in preseason with 26-20 win over Vikings

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nick Mullens completed 7 of 9 passes for 94 yards and one touchdown, and the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 on Sunday in a preseason game. The Raiders moved to 2-0 after a 27-11 win over Jacksonville last week in the Hall of Fame Game. Jarrett Stidham, who […]
18 hours ago
Will Zalatoris celebrates after defeating Sepp Straka, of Austria, in a playoff in the final round ...
Associated Press

Will Zalatoris gets 1st PGA Tour win in playoff at Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Will Zalatoris had the most money and the best world ranking of anyone without a PGA Tour victory. He changed that Sunday by winning the FedEx St. Jude Championship without making birdie in a three-hole playoff. Heartache in two previous playoff losses this year — one in a major — turned […]
18 hours ago
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tucker Davidson throws to a Minnesota Twins batter during the f...
Associated Press

Davidson earns 1st Angels win, beats slumping Twins 4-2

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels played three miserable months without getting on the type of roll they’ve hit over the past week. The surge is probably too late to save the Halos’ season, but any chance to shine means the world to Tucker Davidson and the other Angels playing for their futures. […]
18 hours ago
Kevin Harvick (4) crosses the finish line to win a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Richmond Raceway,...
Associated Press

Harvick wins again; NASCAR playoff picture remains muddled

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Kevin Harvick may be stamping himself as the man to beat in NASCAR. The 2014 series champion took the lead from Joey Logano with 66 laps to go and held off Christopher Bell at Richmond Raceway on Sunday for his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series victory. Harvick, who ended a 65-race […]
18 hours ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker follows the flight of his RBI-double off Colorado Rockies st...
Associated Press

Walker 4 hits, 4 RBIs, powers Diamondbacks past Rockies 7-4

DENVER (AP) — Christian Walker had four hits, including a 460-foot homer, and drove in four runs, leading rookie Tommy Henry and the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Colorado Rockies 7-4 on Sunday. Walker hit two doubles along with his 27th home run. “I think if anything else, I can tone down my effort level because […]
18 hours ago
Becker gets 2 1/2 years in prison for bankruptcy offenses