Tennis Legend Boris Becker Facing Jail Time After Guilty Verdict in Bankruptcy Trial

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2022

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 22, 2022: Former tennis star Boris Becker (R) and his girlfriend Lilian De Carvalho (L) arrive at the Southwark Crown Court on the second day of Boris Becker's trial over allegedly concealing assets, including medals, Wimbledon trophies and properties from bankruptcy trustees on March 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Six-time Grand Slam tennis champion Boris Becker faces a potential seven-year prison sentence after being found guilty on four charges related to the illegal movement of money and property after he declared bankruptcy in 2017.

The Associated Press reported Friday a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court found Becker guilty of removal of property, concealing debt and two counts of failing to disclose estate, but acquitted him of 20 other charges connected to the case.

Evidence presented at trial showed Becker transferred "hundreds of thousands" of dollars from his business account to other accounts, including those owned by ex-wife Barbara Becker and estranged wife Sharlely "Lilly" Becker. He also failed to declare a property in Germany and didn't reveal a $895,000 loan he received, according to the AP.

The 54-year-old German, who was found not guilty on charges related to making trophies and awards from his decorated tennis career available during the bankruptcy, denied knowingly acting in an illicit manner, saying he acted on "expert advice."

Becker, whose net worth reached $50 million, said at trial he created "expensive lifestyle commitments" and went through an "expensive divorce," which led to the bankruptcy. He added it became tough to create new revenue streams to pay off debts because of media coverage.

"[It is] very difficult when you are bankrupt and in the headlines every week for it," he said, per the AP. "[It is] very difficult to make a lot of money with my name."

He was released on bail until the sentencing hearing on April 29.

Becker was one of the top tennis players of his generation. He won Wimbledon three times, the Australian Open twice and the U.S. Open once. He also captured an Olympic gold medal alongside Michael Stich in men's doubles at the 1992 Summer Games in Spain.

He retired from competitive tennis in 1999 and has since served in various roles, including three years as head coach of 20-time major champion Novak Djokovic from 2014 through 2016.