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Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone set to be charged with ‘£400m fraud’

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone set to be charged with ‘£400m fraud’
Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone set to be charged with ‘£400m fraud’

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is set to be charged with fraud by false representation ‘after failing to declare £400m worth of assets held overseas’

  • Former F1 chief Mr Ecclestone is to be charged over the alleged £400m fraud
  • Announcement was made by the CPS following a ‘worldwide’ HMRC probe
  • The investigation is one of the UK’s highest value fraud investigations so far 

Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone is to be charged over an alleged £400m fraud following an HMRC probe.

The CPS has authorised the action over allegations of fraud by false representation.

It follows what HMRC called a ‘complex and worldwide criminal investigation’.

Andrew Penhale, 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.

Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone is to be charged over a £400m fraud the CPS announced 

Petra, Mr Ecclestone and Tamara at a fundraising event in London at the Corinthia Hotel, 2017

Petra, Mr Ecclestone and Tamara at a fundraising event in London at the Corinthia Hotel, 2017

Mr Eccelstone had socialite daughters Tamara and Petra with second wife Slavica Radić, right

 Mr Eccelstone had socialite daughters Tamara and Petra with second wife Slavica Radić, right

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

Mr Ecclestone splits his time between his coffee farm on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil, a mansion in Gstaad, Switzerland, and his villa in Ibiza, where he was last seen a fortnight ago during a disastrous media round where he praised Vladimir Putin.

He later apologised for describing Putin as a ‘first class person’ and that he would ‘take a bullet for him’. He missed the Austrian grand prix over the weekend. 

Simon York, Director, Fraud Investigation Service (FIS), HMRC, said: ‘We can confirm that a fraud by false representation charge has been authorised against Bernard Ecclestone.

Pictured: Model Tamara Ecclestone with Bernie Ecclestone who was F1 chief at the time at the F1 World Championship 2013

Pictured: Model Tamara Ecclestone with Bernie Ecclestone who was F1 chief at the time at the F1 World Championship 2013

Pictured: Bernie Ecclestone and Tamara Ecclestone attend a Formula 1 charity photographic auction on February 07, 2014

Pictured: Bernie Ecclestone and Tamara Ecclestone attend a Formula 1 charity photographic auction on February 07, 2014

‘This follows a complex and worldwide criminal investigation by HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service.

‘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.

‘We remind people to refrain from commentary or sharing of information that could prejudice proceedings in any way.

‘This is now a matter for the courts and we will not be commenting further.’

Mr Ecclestone became a father for the fourth time when he welcomed son Ace last July with Fabiana, who he married in 2012.

The billionaire businessman is already a father to daughters Deborah, 66, Tamara and Petra Ecclestone.

Deborah was born to his first wife Ivy Bamford before he welcomed socialites Tamara and Petra with his second wife Slavica Radić.

Bernie married Fabiana three years after he divorced Croatian Slavica. He confirmed he and Fabiana were expecting a child to Swiss newspaper Blick last April.

The case will first be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 22. 

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