Ex-F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone charged with fraud after HMRC inquiry into ‘£400million in foreign assets’

Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will be charged with false representation fraud over an alleged failure to report £400million worth of foreign assets to the government.

The charges against the 91-year-old were cleared Monday by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) following an investigation by the Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Andrew Penhale, Chief Prosecutor, said: “The CPS has reviewed a file of evidence from HMRC and has cleared charges against Bernard Ecclestone of fraud by misrepresentation regarding his failure to inform HMRC of the existence of assets in abroad that are believed to be worth more than £400million.

“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that this defendant is now under criminal law and that they have the right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there is no reporting, commenting or sharing of information online that could harm this proceeding in any way.”

Simon York, director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, added: “We can confirm that Bernard Ecclestone has authorized an allegation of fraud through false representation.

“This follows a complex and global criminal investigation by HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service.

“The criminal charge concerns anticipated tax liabilities arising from more than £400 million in offshore assets that were hidden from HMRC.

“HMRC is on the side of honest taxpayers and we will take tough action where we suspect tax fraud. Our message is clear: no one is beyond our reach.

“We remind people to refrain from commenting or sharing information that could harm the proceedings in any way. This is now a matter for the courts and we will not comment further.”

The case will be heard in Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the first time on August 22.

Mr Ecclestone was removed from his position as chief executive of Formula 1 in 2017 after nearly 40 years of leadership.

It came after US giant Liberty Media completed its £6.4 billion acquisition of the sport.

The billionaire was named the 65th richest person in the UK in 2021.

Additional Press Association coverage

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