Ex-Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is facing fraud charges over false representation of his overseas assets that are worth more than £400 million.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who complied evidence following an investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), confirmed that the criminal proceedings are now active.
Andrew Penhale, the Chief crown prosecutor, said: “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 £400m.
“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against this defendant are now active and that they have a right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
The case against Ecclestone, who held F1’s commercial reigns for a number of decades, will be heard in court on August 22 next month.
The HMRC’s director of Fraud Investigation Services Simon York asserted that the charge “follows a complex and worldwide criminal investigation.
He continued: “The criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400m of offshore assets which were concealed from HMRC.
“HMRC is on the side of honest taxpayers and we will take tough action wherever we suspect tax fraud. Our message is clear: no one is beyond our reach.
“We remind people to refrain from commentary or sharing of information that could prejudice proceedings in any way. This is now a matter for the courts and we will not be commenting further.”
Ecclestone has been in the spotlight recently for comments he made regarding Russian president Vladimir Putin, as he asserted he would “take a bullet” for him.
However, Ecclestone spoke out last week apologising for the statement, asserting that he is not defending Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.