Bernie Ecclestone charged with fraud after UK tax investigation

Bernie Ecclestone, the former Formula 1 tycoon, has been charged with fraud following an investigation by the UK tax authorities.

Ecclestone, 91, faces charges over an alleged failure to declare to HM Revenue & Customs overseas assets worth more than £400mn, the Crown Prosecution Service said on Monday. He is due before Westminster magistrates’ court on August 22 for his first appearance in the case.

Andrew Penhale, chief crown prosecutor for the CPS, 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 £400mn.”

Simon York, director of fraud investigation service at HMRC, said the charges followed a “complex and worldwide criminal investigation”.

He said: “We can confirm that a fraud by false representation charge has been authorised against Bernard Ecclestone . . . The criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400mn of offshore assets which were concealed from HMRC.”

The CPS added that criminal proceedings were now active and it “is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings”.

Ecclestone stepped down as Formula One’s chief executive in 2017, ending his 40-year reign over the global motor racing series after Liberty Media, controlled by American billionaire John Malone, agreed a takeover of F1’s parent company Delta Topco in a complex $8bn deal.

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