HMRC claims Bernie Ecclestone failed to declare £400mn being held overseas

Bernie Ecclestone has allegedly been holding millions of pounds overseas without declaring it.

Former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is expected to appear in court on charges of fraud after he allegedly failed to declare over £400 million being held overseas.

Ecclestone, who owned a team in the 1950s before becoming a Formula 1 executive in 1973, has been in the news quite a lot lately for a multitude of unfavourable reasons.

The Briton was detained in Brazil for illegally possessing a firearm at an airport, before going live on air to praise Russian president Vladimir Putin despite the war he has started on Ukraine.

He also defended Nelson Piquet, who had been caught racially abusing Sir Lewis Hamilton last year and has had civil charges brought against him.

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Now, it has transpired that the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] has been busy preparing a case against the 91-year-old for tax fraud.

Simon York, director of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [HMRC], confirmed that a criminal case had been authorised after a “complex and worldwide” investigation.

“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.

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“The criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400m of offshore assets which were concealed from HMRC.”

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Chief crown prosecutor, Andrew Penhale, asked that there be no public comments made about the case, as doing so would put those responsible in contempt of court.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

Ecclestone has previously been charged with fraud in 2008, and bribery in 2013 – he settled both cases outside of court.