Bernie Ecclestone is once again in the sights of the judiciary. The former Formula 1 Zampano, who ran the first-tier business until 2017, is said to have evaded taxes by the millions. At least that’s the accusation according to an HMRC investigation. Charges are now being brought against Ecclestone.
This was confirmed in an official statement from the British Attorney General’s Office published on Monday. Accordingly, Ecclestone has hidden assets worth more than 400 million pounds (about 472 million euros) in offshore accounts.
The accusation: hidden assets abroad
CPS Chief Inspector Andrew Banhali said: “CPS examined evidence from HMRC and approved an indictment of fraud by misrepresentation against Bernard Ecclestone for failing to inform HMRC of the existence of offshore assets.”
Simon York, who is in charge of the tax agency’s fraud investigation service, was also quoted in the post. Confirming the indictment, he said: “This is the result of a complex and global criminal investigation conducted by HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service. The criminal charges relate to potential tax liabilities on offshore assets of more than £400 million that were incurred prior to HMRC.”
“HMRC stands by the honest taxpayer and will take strict action when tax evasion is suspected. Our message is clear – no one is out of our reach,” York said. The investigations into Ecclestone were part of the CPS Department of Justice called SEOCID, which was created on April 1, 2022 and specializes in international white collar crime.
The first hearing in the Ecclestone case will take place on August 22 at Westminster Magistrates Court in London. It is a presumption of innocence. This isn’t the first time the eccentric businessman, who was a racing driver in the 1950s before moving on to driving and managing the team, has had problems with the judiciary. In May, he was arrested at a Brazilian airport for having an illegal firearm in his luggage.
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