Home » Formula 1’s Former CEO Is Ordered to Pay $802 Million After Pleading Guilty to Fraud

Formula 1’s Former CEO Is Ordered to Pay $802 Million After Pleading Guilty to Fraud

by multimill
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Bernie Ecclestone may have left his role as the CEO of Formula 1 back in 2017, but that doesn’t mean he’s no longer in the news.

On Thursday, the 92-year-old was ordered to pay 652 million pounds ($802 million) after pleading guilty to fraud, The New York Times reported. That eye-watering sum was handed down by a judge following charges against Ecclestone related to not reporting hundreds of millions of dollars that he had in a trust in Singapore.

Simon Bryan, the judge in the case, said Ecclestone’s actions were “so serious that neither a fine or a community order would be appropriate.” His lawyer Christine Montgomery said in court that Ecclestone “bitterly regrets the events that led to this criminal trial.”

Initially, the former F1 CEO pleaded not guilty to the charges and a trial was planned to start next month. However, he changed his plea, resulting in the $800 million bill and a sentence of 17 months that was suspended because of Ecclestone’s age and health issues. If his record remains clean for the next two years, he will not have to serve his sentence at all, the Times noted.

This isn’t Ecclestone’s first run-in with the law: In 2008, he paid 10 million pounds to settle a British tax case. And in 2014, he came up against bribery charges in Germany, related to a payment to a banker who approved the sale of Formula 1 to a private equity firm. In that case, Ecclestone was given a $100 million fine. (His net worth is estimated to be 2.5 billion pounds, or about $3 billion.)

Along with his legal troubles, Ecclestone has frequently made headlines for sensational comments. In 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, he said, “In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what white people are.” And after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, he called Putin a “first class” person whom he would “take a bullet for.”

This latest legal ruling, in which Ecclestone will have to part with a good deal of his fortune, has thrown him back into the spotlight for yet another unsavory reason.

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