Ecclestone set to be charged in £400m fraud case

Jamie Woodhouse
Bernie Ecclestone file photo. September 2016

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone file photo. September 2016

Former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is set to be charged with fraud by false representation relating to overseas assets.

Following a HMRC investigation, the charge has been brought against Ecclestone by the Crown Prosecution Service, with criminal proceedings now active against the 91-year-old.

The charge relates to an alleged failure to declare overseas assets worth in excess of £400m.

Ecclestone will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on August 22 at 10am for the first hearing of the case.

Andrew Penhale, the chief crown prosecutor, stated: “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.”

Simon York, director of the HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, added: “We can confirm that a fraud by false representation charge has been authorised against Bernard Ecclestone. 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.”

Ecclestone has clashed with seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton in recent times, that stemming from the former’s public support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, for which he later issued an apology.