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Former Formula 1 boss pleads guilty of tax fraud, escapes prison

Former Formula 1 boss pleads guilty of tax fraud, escapes prison

The former F1 boss has pled guilty to his crime before the trial and agreed to a settlement.

Ever since he moved away from Formula 1, Bernie Ecclestone has always found a way to remain in the news. He has commented on different Formula 1 drivers, teams, and Liberty Media as well. This year itself, he made massive news by stating that he and Max Mosley knew about Crashgate. However, once that snowballed into then Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa, taking legal action for Lewis Hamilton’s title, he backpedaled. Now, he is once again in the news, though not for his words.

“I Plead Guilty”

These were the ex-Formula 1 boss’ words when he appeared before a judge at the Southwark Crown Court. Bernie Ecclestone had previously pled not guilty in front of another judge in June.

Bernie Ecclestone admitted to tax fraud. He didn’t declare more than £400 million in assets in Singapore. Now, he has agreed to a settlement with the British Authorities to repay £653 million. By doing this, the former Formula 1 supremo has managed to evade jail time.

He has been given a sentence of 17 months suspended for 2 years. This means he won’t serve any jail time if he doesn’t commit another crime in the next 2 years.

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This is the former Formula 1 boss’ legal team’s statement.

“As of 7 July 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.”

In the news again in 2023

This is not the first time Bernie Ecclestone has made headlines in the Formula 1 world in 2023. Earlier this year, he said he and Max Mosley knew about Crashgate. This was a pivotal moment in the title battle between Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

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