Game, set and prison: the downfall of Boris Becker for a crime many corrupt business-people commit who think they can rip off creditors and get away without paying their debts

Boris Becker arrived at court with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro. Pic: PA

Game, set and prison: the downfall of Boris Becker for a crime many corrupt business-people commit who think they can rip off creditors and get away without paying their debts

When Boris Becker the former number one tennis player was jailed for two and a half years this month for hiding his cash and assets from creditors he has joined a long line of criminals who think insolvency laws don’t apply to them writes Harry Mottram.

The Wimbledon winner and German sports star was bankrupt in 2017 after failing to pay a £3 million loan on a Spanish property. He had almost enough to pay the loan but instead hid cash and assets worth £2.5 million from the authorities and pleaded poverty. He had already been done for tax evasion in Germany and so the authorities and his creditors smelled a rat.

He was found guilty on four charges under the Insolvency Act at Southwalk Crown Court as he lives in England despite having had homes in Germany and Spain.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM – the group dedicated to preventing its members suffering bad debts and late payments from clients – said the fifty-four-year-old sports commentator only had himself to blame. He said like many super rich and privileged celebrities he clearly thought the law did not apply to him. Ian Carrotte said: “If he had come clean at the beginning – with his earning power he would soon have been out of debt and the original debt may have even been partly written off if he had been honest. Now his brand is tainted and he’ll find it hard to restore his reputation in the future.”

ICSM’s proprietor pointed out Becker isn’t the first person to fall foul of the Insolvency Law as every year scores of business people think they can duck their responsibilities to their creditors and suppliers. The Insolvency Service take all manner of people to court – from celebrities to sole traders and company directors. Darren Pole, a self-employed tiler, was declared bankrupt in October 2013 following a petition by the tax authorities for unpaid taxes of more than £100,000 – the authorities finally caught up with him in 2019 when he was jailed for six months. Neil Maloney from Oswaldtwistle was sentenced to 21 months, suspended for 2 years, for fraud offences after taking cash illegally from a firm and received credit of more than £7,300 from an inheritance which he failed to disclose to the Official Receiver, as he was required to under the terms of his bankruptcy. Gregory Davidson of Clacton-on-Sea, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for obtaining £120,000 by deception, putting his assets beyond the reach of his creditors and failing to provide a satisfactory explanation to The Insolvency Service. Mark Brafman and Singh Sandhu were disqualified directors who were found to be in control of a series of retail businesses which collapsed owing several million pounds by the Insolvency Service and were sent to prison for long stretches. And so the list goes on with Becker the latest businessman who simply didn’t understand the law.

Ian Carrotte said in all of these cases there are victims. Although it is the banks and taxman who lose out members of the general public and companies that supply goods to those convicted also lose huge amounts of money that ruin their lives.

Chief Executive of the Insolvency Service, Dean Beale, said: “The Court has handed down a prison sentence to Boris Becker today after he was convicted of offences relating to his bankruptcy. Boris Becker’s sentence clearly demonstrates that concealing assets in bankruptcy is a serious offence for which we will prosecute and bring offenders to justice.”

In passing sentence, Her Honour Judge Deborah Taylor commented that Boris Becker had an undue reliance on his advisors and the obligation was on him to disclose his assets to his trustees. The Judge added that it was not Boris Becker’s choice of who to pay and a large sum had been lost in the bankruptcy estate, and it was notable that he had not shown remorse or humility.

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

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