Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone charged with fraud following HMRC probe

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Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone charged with fraud following HMRC probe
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Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has been charged with fraud over the alleged hiding of more than £400m of assets from the taxman.

The CPS announced the billionaire businessman, 91, is accused of one count of fraud by false representation after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs.

Ecclestone, who was chief executive of the Formula One Group, is due to appear at Westminster magistrates court on August 22 to face the criminal charge for the first time.

“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”, said Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor, in a statement.

“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, a director at HMRC in charge of the 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 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 was recently in the news after he publicly offered support to President Vladimir Putin, but later offered an apology for suggesting he would “take a bullet” for the Russian president.

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