As per insolvency law, the six-time Grand Slam champion was obliged to disclose all assets so an informed decision could be made on how best to reimburse his creditors.
Instead, he set about transferring more than €400,000 in cash from business accounts to the bank accounts of associates, including his former wife and at the time estranged wife.
He also failed to disclose ownership of a property in Leiman in his native Germany, concealed a loan of €825,000 from the Bank of Alpinum of Lichtenstein, and didn’t disclose ownership of 75,000 shares in tech firm Breaking Data Corp.
In total, he was convicted on four charges of failing to disclose, concealing and removing significant assets. He was acquitted on 20 other counts.
As well as criminal sanctions, Becker’s discharge from bankruptcy has been suspended indefinitely and he has been handed a a 12-year Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking, which bars him from taking on a role as director of a company and means he has to declare his bankruptcy status if applying for a loan of £500 or more.
Bankruptcy is designed primarily to give creditors some recourse to recovering money they are owed when an individual cannot repay their debts. The debtor’s assets pass into the hands of a trustee, who will then use them to pay creditors.
But bankruptcy also gives debtors certain legal protections, such as discharging a debt even if it cannot be fully repaid from their available assets. It’s this that tempts people into bankruptcy fraud, or hiding assets to make it look as if you cannot repay a debt and therefore have it discharged.
Bankruptcy offences are treated seriously in law, with maximum sentences of up to 15 years in prison and restrictions on your financial affairs for up to 15 years.
Becker is due to be sentenced on April 29th.