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Quadruple fault: Boris Becker sent to prison after being convicted of four bankruptcy offences in the UK

  • United Kingdom
  • Banking and finance
  • Distressed - Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Restructuring and insolvency


In a high-profile personal insolvency case, the former world number one tennis player Boris Becker has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison following his recent conviction in respect of four offences under the UK Insolvency Act 1986.

Becker was made bankrupt in 2017 upon the petition of a creditor. Whilst he claimed to have co-operated fully with the bankruptcy process - a position rather undermined by his attempting to assert diplomatic immunity against the insolvency proceedings due to allegedly being a diplomat of the Central African Republic - that does not appear to have been the reality.

Ultimately, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court, Becker was convicted by a jury of four offences, and acquitted on twenty other charges.

The offences of which he was convicted include failing to disclose assets (an offence under section 353(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986), concealing debt (section 354(1)(b)), and removing property from his bankruptcy estate (section 354(2)).

This is a meteoric downfall for an individual reputed to have at one point been worth £38,000,000. It is a cautionary tale for those bankrupts who think they can conceal assets, with the Chief Executive of the Insolvency Service commenting:

This conviction serves as a clear warning to those who think they can hide their assets and get away with it. You will be found out and prosecuted”.

The case also serves as a salutary reminder that criminal liability can arise in the personal insolvency context.

How Eversheds Sutherland can assist

Should you require advice on any aspects of personal insolvency, Eversheds Sutherland can leverage its market-leading strength and depth of experience in bankruptcy matters to assist.

For more information or guidance, please get in touch with your usual Eversheds Sutherland contact, or one of the individuals below.