Bernie Ecclestone’s trial date set as ex-F1 supremo accused of hiding £400mn

Bernie Ecclestone relinquished control of Formula 1 at the end of the 2016 season, with Liberty Media taking over.

Former Formula 1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has had his trial date set for 9 October 2023 following accusations of fraud.

The Briton is accused of one count of fraud by false representation between 2013 and 2016, and he appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.

Ecclestone’s lawyers are defending him after allegations emerged that he failed to declare more than £400 million that he had put into a trust in Singapore.

If the allegations are proven correct, this would have enabled him to avoid tax payments.

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Ecclestone appeared at the courthouse in the back of his Range Rover, before being escorted out of the car by his driver. 

His partner, Fabiana Flosi, also entered the building, but did so separately to Ecclestone.

In a dark grey suit, Ecclestone sat behind his defence lawyers, and was excused from the dock due to his hearing difficulties.

Judge Deborah Taylor set the trial date for next year, and the case is set to take around six weeks.

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Ecclestone has been told that he does not need to be present in court for the entirety of the case.

In 2014, Ecclestone reached a settlement agreement with a German court to dismiss his bribery case, before settling another corruption case with Bluewaters Communications five years later.

Ecclestone has been involved in more controversy in 2022, first when he was detained in an airport in Brazil for mistakenly placing a firearm into his luggage.

He then went on live national television to defend Russian president, Vladimir Putin, amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

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The former F1 boss lost control of F1 to Liberty Media at the end of 2016 after Chase Carey’s company brought the empire, but the American has since left his position at the helm of the pinnacle of motorsport.

Greg Maffei has since taken over as CEO of the company, and in 2021, he appointed former Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicali, as CEO of F1.

The Italian brought back another controversial figure, Flavio Briatore, in a commercial role earlier this year, just over 12 years after he was given an indefinite ban for the 2008 crashgate scandal.