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.
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