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Ecclestone in fresh controversy over £400m fraud charge

After landing himself in hot water last month following controversial comments in an interview, Bernie Ecclestone now finds himself the subject of a fraud investigation.

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is to be charged with fraud by false representation after allegedly failing to declare assets worth over £400 million. The charge against the 91-year-old was authorised by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Monday after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs. "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. "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."

More trouble for Ecclestone after recent comments

Ecclestone served as F1's CEO before Liberty Media's takeover in 2017, and left his emeritus position within the sport in 2020. His personal wealth has been estimated in excess of £2.5 billion. Ecclestone came in for widespread criticism from the F1 community last month after an interview in which he defended Nelson Piquet's racist remarks about Lewis Hamilton. In the same interview, Ecclestone also praised Vladimir Putin and downplayed the suffering caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine – remarks for which he later apologised. In May, the nonagenarian was arrested in Brazil for illegally carrying a gun while boarding a private plane to Switzerland.

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