Former Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone will be charged with UK tax fraud regarding what authorities say was a failure to declare over £400 million ($477m) of overseas assets.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been carrying out what it calls “a complex and worldwide criminal investigation” that has led to the Crown Prosecution Service announcing that Ecclestone faces one count of fraud by false representation. The first hearing is set for late August in London.
Ecclestone has been in trouble with HMRC before, when it demanded that he pay more than £1bn ($1.19bn) in 2015 in relation to a family trust. The Briton went to court to fight against the claim, which he felt had already been settled by a previous agreement.
Speaking to Reuters after the latest charge, the 91-year-old said he was unaware of what it relates to, but added: “It’s something that has been talked about happening, but not in the way you said, something a little bit different to that, quite a while ago.
“They’ve probably got all excited again. Let’s see what happens.”
Ecclestone, who was in charge of F1 for some four decades before being ousted when Liberty Media took over the sport in 2017, has also recently been in the headlines for comments in support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, as well as for being arrested and released on bail for carrying a handgun in his luggage when trying to leave Brazil earlier this year.