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Tennis legend Boris Becker has been sentenced to two and half years in prison after he was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act relating to his 2017 bankruptcy.
The former world number one, 54, was earlier this month found guilty of transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account and failing to declare a property in his home town of Leimen, Germany. BBC commentator Becker was also convicted of hiding an 825,000 euro (almost £700,000) bank loan and 75,000 shares in a tech firm.
Each offence under the Insolvency Act, which include removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt, carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment. Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced the six-time Grand Slam champion to two-and-a-half years imprisonment, of which he will serve half, at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.
Becker previously told jurors 50 million US dollar (about £38m) career earnings were swallowed up by an expensive divorce to his first wife Barbara Becker, child maintenance payments and "expensive lifestyle commitments".
The German national, who has lived in the UK since 2012, said he was "shocked" and "embarrassed" when he was declared bankrupt on June 21 2017 over an unpaid loan of more than £3m on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.
He claimed he had co-operated with trustees tasked with securing his assets, even offering up his wedding ring, and relied on the advisers who managed his life. However, Becker, who was supported in court by his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro and eldest son Noah, was found guilty of four charges.
The court heard Becker received 1.13 million euros (about £950,000) from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany, which was paid into a business account used as a "piggy bank" for his personal expenses.
Becker was found guilty of transferring 427,00 euros (£356,000) to nine recipients, including the accounts of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely "Lilly" Becker, the mother of his fourth child.
He was further convicted of failing to declare a property in his home town of Leimen, hiding an 825,000 euro (almost £700,000) bank loan on the house as well as 75,000 shares in tech firm Breaking Data Corp.
In March, Becker said: "As you can imagine, I was very shocked at the fact. Because it was all over world news, and I walked through the gate of Wimbledon and everyone knew. I was embarrassed because I was bankrupt."
Becker had been declared bankrupt on the eve of the famous tournament, where he appeared as a pundit on the BBC. He added: "My son called me saying my wife was breaking down the house – the furniture, the windows. The police came … while I was on site."
Becker, who said he had sold properties to help sort his financial situation, revealed that he had "lots" of trophies and memorabilia from his tennis career but some are now missing.
"For the player, it's about winning the title. The trophy is not so much when you are playing," Becker told the court. "Nowadays I wish I had them to show them to my children."
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