The tennis champion Boris Becker has denied a string of criminal charges over his bankruptcy as he was told he could face seven years in jail.
The German former tennis star, 52, who was declared bankrupt in June 2017, is accused of not complying with obligations to disclose information.
Becker, who was smartly dressed in a suit and red tie, spoke in a clear, loud voice as he confirmed his personal details at London’s Westminster magistrates’ court.
He pleaded not guilty to 19 charges of failing to disclose money and property between May 2017 and June 2017. Becker denied seven counts which alleged that as a bankrupt he concealed property from his receiver or trustee and pleaded not guilty to a charge that he concealed a debt. He also denied two counts of removing property that was required to be delivered to the receiver.
Becker pleaded not guilty to a charge that he failed to disclose the disposal of property and to four charges alleging he did not disclose the details of his estate.
He also denied a charge that he concealed debt and four counts of omission about state of affairs relating to bank accounts with JP Morgan Belgium and Julius Baer Guernsey. It is also alleged he hid his stake of shares in the AI firm Breaking Data Corp.
He allegedly had a flat in Coleherne Court in Chelsea, London, which went undeclared, along with two other German properties.
Becker, who lives in London, is being prosecuted by the Insolvency Service. Bankruptcy issues were considered at hearings in the high court in London. The chief magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, conditionally bailed Becker to next appear at London’s Southwark crown court for a preliminary hearing on 22 October.
Becker was a teenage tennis phenomenon when, in 1985, he became the youngest Wimbledon men’s singles champion at the age of 17 years and seven months. He was the first German champion of the tournament and the first non-seed to win as he was ranked at number 20.
The former world No 1 and six-time Grand Slam champion collected 49 singles titles out of 77 finals during his 16 years as a professional tennis player.
He was picked to enter the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2003.