Due to his failure to disclose £400 million in foreign assets, former Formula 1 boss and tycoon Bernie Ecclestone has been charged with fraud by misrepresentation.
The charge "in respect of [Ecclestone's] failure to declare to HMRC the existence of assets held overseas believed to be worth in excess of £400M" was authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today.
The CPS "reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against this defendant are now active and that they have a right to a fair trial," according to chief crown prosecutor Andrew Penhale.
"It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings," he continued.
"We can confirm that a fraud by false representation charge has been authorised against Bernard Ecclestone," said to Simon York, Director of Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) at HMRC.
"This follows a complex and worldwide criminal investigation by HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service. The criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400M of offshore assets which were concealed from HMRC," he continued.
"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," Mr. York said.
"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."
The first hearing in this case will now take place at Westminster Magistrates Court on August 22.
By fLEXI tEAM