F1: American hater Bernie Ecclestone pleads guilty to tax fraud (3rd Update)

Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone has pleaded guilty to a criminal tax fraud charge for failing to tell British authorities about assets held in a Singapore bank of around £400 million.

The change in plea came just days before the 92-year-old was due to stand trial. Ecclestone was charged with failing to declare the overseas account following an investigation into his finances by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Back in July 2015, the billionaire failed to declare a trust in Singapore with a bank account containing $650m which works out as roughly £400m.

Ecclestone has avoided prison after agreeing to pay the taxman more than £652million.

Judge Simon Bryan gave Ecclestone a 17-month sentence suspended for two years, meaning he will only go to jail if he commits another criminal offense during that time.

The formerF1 boss this morning said ‘I plead guilty’ while standing in the court before the judge.

The charge stated Ecclestone, who has three grown-up daughters, Deborah, Tamara and Petra, and a young son, Ace, had ‘established only a single trust, that being one in favor of your daughters and other than the trust established for your daughters you were not the settlor nor beneficiary of any trust in or outside the UK’.

Sentencing Ecclestone, who heard the judge’s remarks from the dock, Mr Justice Bryan said: ‘Your offending is so serious that neither a fine nor a community order would be appropriate.

‘It is rightly acknowledged that the custody threshold has been passed.’

However, he said that he had taken into consideration a number of mitigating factors, including Ecclestone’s health, age, and that he has no previous criminal convictions. wearing a dark three-piece suit and gray tie.

August 3, 2023 

Singapore worked closely with authorities in the United Kingdom on their investigation and prosecution of former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday.

Ecclestone is facing trial later this year for fraud over his alleged failure to declare to Britain’s government about $484 million held in a trust in a Singapore bank account. The 92-year-old billionaire pleaded not guilty to the fraud charge in June.

Bernie Ecclestone and wife Fabiana
Bernie Ecclestone and wife Fabiana

Mr Wong was replying to questions filed in parliament by Workers’ Party MPs Louis Chua and He Ting Ru.

Ms He asked if the government had received any requests from UK law enforcement agencies regarding the case, while Mr Chua asked if the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was satisfied with anti-money laundering precautions that had been put in place at the bank involved.

“It is our policy, in line with international practice, not to comment on whether a foreign government has made a request for legal assistance on specific cases,” said Mr Wong in his written answer.

“That said, we can confirm that the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore Police Force and Attorney-General’s Chambers have worked closely with UK authorities on their investigation and prosecution of Mr Ecclestone.

“In fact, Singapore proactively shared relevant information with our UK counterparts, which helped them develop their case.”

Mr Wong, who is also Finance Minister, said that MAS conducted an inspection of the bank in 2017 to assess its controls for mitigating money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

“During the inspection, MAS specifically reviewed the bank’s handling of its relationship with Mr Ecclestone,” he said.

“While MAS found that there was room for improvement in the bank’s anti-money laundering processes, it did not find gaps or weaknesses that were systemic in nature.

“MAS also noted that when adverse news about Mr Ecclestone first surfaced in 2013, the bank promptly subjected the account to enhanced monitoring controls by requiring all transactions to be flagged for scrutiny and approval.”

Mr Wong did not name the bank involved in the case.

January 20, 2023 

Ex-Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has appeared in court this week charged with fraud by false representation over allegations he hid more than £400 million from the British taxman.

Ecclestone appeared at London’s Southwark Crown Court for a further case management hearing this morning. His trial is listed to begin on November 16 this year.

Ecclestone appeared frail [good act, as photos of him outside the courthouse he does not look frail] as he sat alongside his lawyers rather than in the dock behind him during the hour-long proceedings.

He appeared not to be able to hear when he was asked to confirm his name at the start of the case management hearing.

Ecclestone had to be prompted by a member of his legal team before finally replying in a faltering voice: ‘Bernard Ecclestone.’

Ecclestone is accused of one charge of fraud by false representation between July 13, 2013 and October 5, 2016.

The charge alleges that Ecclestone, who has three grown-up daughters – Deborah, 68, Tamara, 38, and Petra, 34 – allegedly made a representation to officers of HMRC, ‘which was, and which he knew was or might have been, untrue or misleading’. More at Daily Mail

October 5, 2022 

The man who almost single-handedly turned F1 against American teams and drivers, Bernie Ecclestone, will go on trial in the UK next October for alleged tax fraud.

For well over a decade, as F1 boss Ecclestone badmouthed American drivers and American motorsports and made the world believe Americans were inferior.  The result is there are no American drivers in F1 and it is unlikely they will ever be given a shot at a top ride again.

The 91-year-old is accused of failing to declare €400 million in overseas assets. He has denied the charge.

Prosecutors claim Ecclestone falsely represented his wealth between July 2013 and October 2016, when British tax officials carried out a worldwide investigation into his finances.

Ecclestone allegedly did not declare a trust in Singapore with a bank account containing about €650 million when asked if he was involved in any trusts abroad.

The former executive headed Formula One and controlled the sport for four decades from the 1970s to 2017 when he was kicked out when American firm Liberty Media bought the series.

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