THE bankruptcy case involving one of tennis’s all-time greats has served up a warning about the importance of being open and honest.

For Boris Becker has had his bankruptcy order extended to 2031 after failing to disclose transactions of £4.5m.

And his actions mean it’s now game, set and match to the Insolvency Service, who have successfully sought to lengthen his bankruptcy for a further 12 years as a punishment.

The former Wimbledon champion was originally declared bankrupt in June 2017, an order that should have lasted just 12 months.

However, during the length of the order, bankrupts are under a statutory duty to provide full disclosure of assets to the trustee.

Bankrupts must also inform lenders about their bankruptcy order when seeking to borrow more than £500; are unable to be a company director; and require court permission to have any say in the running of a company.

These are the strict bankruptcy rules to adhere to, whether you live in Wimbledon or Wakefield.

However, the German player-turned- BBC commentator did not comply either before or after the bankruptcy proceedings.

A subsequent bankruptcy probe by the Official Receiver lifted the lid on undisclosed transactions he was involved in, totalling as much as £4.5m.

As a result, the official receiver sought to apply to extend Becker’s bankruptcy restrictions. Becker offered a 12-year undertaking, which was accepted.

Commenting on the extension of the bankruptcy order, Anthony Hannon, Public Interest Official Receiver for the Insolvency Service, warned:

“Bankrupts have a duty to fully cooperate with their trustee and where this has been frustrated, a bankruptcy restriction undertaking of commensurate length must reflect that conduct.

Bankruptcy restrictions are usually lifted after a year but, owing to the nature of Boris Becker’s actions, the Official Receiver pursued extended restrictions to prevent Mr Becker causing further harm to his creditors.”

The three-time Wimbledon champion’s financial struggles hit the headlines when he was first made bankrupt over money he had owed London-based private bankers Arbuthnot Latham & Co since October 2015. He failed in a bid to claim diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings.

Insolvency media reported that his fortune was once valued at over £100m, but a raft of costly divorce and paternity pay-outs, tax evasion settlements in the UK and abroad; and bad property investments led him to the bankruptcy courts.

At one of his bankruptcy hearings, the judge Ms Registrar Derrett, said of him: “One has the impression of a man with his head in the sand”.

In July this year, an online auction of Becker’s trophies and other memorabilia, including a watch given to him as a gift by current tennis champion Novak Djokovic, raised £687,000 for his creditors.

Here at Walsh Taylor, when financial difficulties arise, we’ll put time on your side.

For more information on how our licensed insolvency specialists and business recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington can help you, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk

Mary Taylor
Director

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

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