Bernie Ecclestone pleads not guilty as former F1 supremo faces £400m fraud charge

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Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has pleaded not guilty to a charge of fraud at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The 91-year-old is accused of not declaring £400million of overseas assets.

Ecclestone arrived at court on Monday and was flocked by photographers and journalists, though were under strict instruction from the court security to not get too near to him due to his old age. The Suffolk-born businessman is facing a charge of fraud by false representation between 13th July 2013 and 5th October 2015, involving his daughter’s trust.

Ecclestone has three daughters, Deborah, 67, Tamara, 38, and Petra, 33 – as well as a son named Ace. According to the charge, he allegedly claimed he had a ‘single trust’ in favour of his daughters.

But the former F1 supremo has pleaded not guilty to the charge, denying that he was ‘intending to make a gain, namely not stated, for yourself’ as the charge claims. Speaking at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, prosecutor Robert Simpson said: “This charge arises out of a Revenue and Customs investigation into Mr Ecclestone.

“The Revenue and Customs instigated an investigation into Mr Ecclestone’s finances…which would have allowed him to enter into a structural disclosure facility, drawing a line under any previous tax irregularities. During the course of that investigation, he was asked about any trusts placed abroad that he was involved in.

“The Crown bases this charge on the fact he failed to disclose a trust in Singapore with a bank account containing approximately $650 million.” Ecclestone, who was allowed to stand outside the dock due to difficulty hearing, confirmed his name, date of birth, address and his plea before being released on unconditional bail.

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