Bernie Ecclestone, a former Formula 1 promoter, has been charged with fraud by false representation involving £400 million in international assets.
Ex-F1 chief Ecclestone is accused of fraud involving £400 million in international assets.
Ecclestone reigned over F1 for more than four decades before stepping down in early 2017 upon the sale of the series to Liberty Media. With addition, he owned the Brabham team from 1972 to 1987 and has been involved in Formula One since the 1950s.
According to The Sunday Times Rich List, the 91-year-old has a net worth of almost £2.5 billion, but he has been charged with fraud after an inquiry by HMRC, the UK's tax agency.
Following an inquiry by HMRC, the Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement announcing that it had "authorized the charging of Bernard Charles Ecclestone with fraud by false representation."
Andrew Penhale, the chief crown prosecutor, stated, "The CPS has reviewed a file of evidence from HMRC and has authorized a charge of fraud by false representation against Bernard Ecclestone in relation to his failure to declare to HMRC the existence of overseas assets estimated to be worth more than £400 million."
“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.”
According to Simon York, director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, the allegation against Ecclestone "follows a global and complicated criminal investigation."
“The criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400m of offshore assets which were concealed from HMRC,” York said.
“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 was previously subject to a bribery trial in Germany from 2012 to 2014, which he settled for £60 million without admitting wrongdoing.
Ecclestone recently generated controversy with his remarks regarding Vladimir Putin, in which he stated that he would "take a bullet" for the Russian president and that he sympathizes with the conflict against Ukraine.
This year, he was again caught in Brazil for transporting a pistol in his luggage.