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Bernie Ecclestone

Former F1 Supremo Ecclestone pleads guilty to £400m fraud

Bernie Ecclestone originally pleaded not guilty to the charge in August of last year.

Ex-Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has pleaded guilty to fraud over failure to declare £400 million in a trust.

On July 7 2015, Ecclestone failed to disclose a trust to the government regarding a bank account in Singapore that held roughly $650m.

He was originally called to the Westminster Magistrates Court in August of last year, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Ecclestone was due to go on trial next month but appeared at the Southwark Crown Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty.

Untrue or misleading

As reported by the Daily Mail, when asked if he had links to further trusts in or outside the UK, Ecclestone replied “No.”

Prosecutor Richard Wright KC responded to the claim: “That answer was untrue or misleading. Mr Ecclestone knew his answer may have been untrue or misleading.

“As of July 7 2015, Mr Ecclestone did not know the truth of the position, so was not able to give an answer to the question.

“Mr Ecclestone was not entirely clear on how ownership of the accounts in question were structured.

“He therefore did not know whether it was liable for tax, interest or penalties in relation to amounts passing through the accounts.

“Mr Ecclestone recognises it was wrong to answer the questions he did because it ran the risk that HMRC would not continue to investigate his affairs.

“He now accepts that some tax is due in relation to these matters.”

Ecclestone was at the helm of F1 for several decades before being ousted from his CEO role when Liberty Media purchased the commercial rights for the sport in 2017.

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