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Bernie Ecclestone will be in court in August. PA
criminal proceedings

Ex-F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone facing fraud charge over more than €470 million overseas assets

The case will first be heard at a London court next month.

FORMER FORMULA ONE boss Bernie Ecclestone will be charged with fraud by false representation over an alleged failure to declare £400 million (€473 million) of overseas assets to the UK government.

The charge against the 91-year-old was authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today following an investigation by the UK’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

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.

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

It is understood that Ecclestone is currently overseas and will return to London soon.

Simon York from HMRC said that the investigation had been “complex and worldwide”.

“We can confirm that a fraud by false representation charge has been authorised against Bernard Ecclestone,” he said.

“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.”

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


Ecclestone, a British businessman whose financial worth has been estimated at over £2.5 billion according to Forbes magazine, is widely credited with transforming Formula One into a commercial powerhouse.

Having had a brief career as a racing driver in the late 1950s, he later became the owner of the Brabham F1 team.

Ecclestone’s control of Formula One developed from what was then the pioneering sale of television rights in the late 1970s.

He was, however, removed from his position as chief executive of Formula One Group in January 2017, following its takeover by  Liberty Media.

Ecclestone recently caused controversy for saying he would “take a bullet” for Vladimir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ecclestone had described the Russian president as a “sensible” and “first class person” who “believed he was doing the right thing for Russia”.

He had also criticised Ukraine’s response to Russia’s military action, telling AFP last month: “Ukraine taking on Russia is a bit like me having an argument with Mike Tyson or another big boxer.

“I certainly would not have picked the fight.”

Ecclestone, however, also told Sky Sports: “I’m sorry if anything I’ve said has upset anybody because it certainly wasn’t intended.”

Additional reportung from AFP

Press Association