Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone will face trial next year for a charge of tax fraud of more than 400 million pounds ($454 million) of overseas assets. The 91-year-old was at the Southwark Crown Court in London with his wife Fabiana. He had indicated that was not guilty to one count of fraud by false representation at a hearing last month.
Ecclestone is accused of presenting an “untrue or misleading” representation to the British tax authority between July 2013 and October 2016, as per the Crown Prosecution Service indictment. The indictment says the 91-year-old dishonestly told HM Revenue and Customs that "he had established only a single trust, that being one in favour of his daughters" and "other than the trust established for his daughters he was not the settlor nor beneficiary of any trust in or outside the UK".
He was granted unconditional bail ahead of his trial, which is scheduled to start at the same court on 9 October 2023. Ecclestone was the Formula One boss from the late 1970s until January 2017, a position that made him one of the most prominent people in global motorsport. Bernie Ecclestone was pushed out of Formula One in 2017 when US-based Liberty Media took over the motorsport’s commercial rights.
The charge against Bernie Ecclestone was permitted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in July following an investigation by HMRC, which said the probe had been "complex and worldwide".
Chief Crown Prosecutor Andrew Penhale said at the 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 £400 million.”
Bernie Ecclestone currently has an office in London but now generally spends the majority of his time abroad, with houses in Switzerland and Ibiza as well as a farm in Brazil.