Six-time Grand Slam tennis champion Boris Becker used his business account as his own ‘piggy bank’ to pay for personal expenses such as his children’s school fees, a court has heard.
The former world number one, 54, has also spent hundreds of pounds at luxury department store Harrods, bought groceries online at Ocado and treated himself to clothes from designer Ralph Lauren, a jury.
Becker, who commentated for the BBC at Wimbledon last year, is on trial at Southwark Crown Court charged with 24 offenses under insolvency law relating to his June 2017 bankruptcy over a £3 loan £.5 million from private bank Arbuthnot Latham for a property in Mallorca, Spain.
The German national allegedly hid €1.13million (about £950,000) from the sale of a Mercedes car dealership he owned in Germany, which was paid into his Boris Becker Private Office (BBPOL) account.
Prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said on Tuesday: ‘It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Becker used the BBPOL sterling account as an extension of his own account, in effect as his own piggy bank, for personal expenses. day-to-day items such as children’s school fees, etc. .”
She said payments in 2017 included £643 to Polo Ralph Lauren, £7,600 for tuition fees, £976 to Harrods and over £1,000 to Ocado.
Ms Chalkley told jurors Becker paid his ex-wife Barbara Becker 23,000 euros (£19,000), separated his wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker 100,000 euros (£83,000) and transferred £225,000 to a friend.
He also transferred 300,000 euros (£249,000) to his own account, while other funds were transferred to an account he held jointly with his son Noah, the court heard.
Becker is also accused of failing to hand over assets including trophies such as the 1985 and 1989 Wimbledon men’s singles title, his 1991 and 1996 Australian Open trophies and his Olympic gold medal. from 1992.
He also allegedly failed to declare two German properties, as well as his interest in a flat in Chelsea, west London, and hid a bank loan of 825,000 euros (nearly £700,000).
Becker, who has won 49 singles titles from 77 finals in his 16 years as a professional tennis player, is supported on court by partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.
He denies nine counts of failing to present trophies and other awards, seven counts of concealing property, five counts of failing to disclose property, two of removing property and one of concealing debts.
The suit is being brought by the Insolvency Service on behalf of Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
The trial continues.