Ecclestone’s trial date set following £400m fraud charge

Ex-Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone will stand trial in October next year after being charged with a single count of fraud worth over £400 million.

In July earlier this year, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) activated criminal proceedings after it found that Ecclestone had failed to declare assets overseas.

In the investigation, he is accused of failing to disclose a Singapore trust with a bank account holding roughly $650 million, which would have allowed him to draw a line under any previous tax irregularities.  

Ecclestone was called to the Westminster Magistrates Court in August, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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On Tuesday, he arrived at the  Southwark Crown Court with his wife Fabiana, where Judge Deborah Taylor set a start trial date for October 9, 2023.

Prosecutor Alexander Langhorn stated that he expects the trial to last for up to six weeks, according to Sky Sports, which could be staggered over half days due to the defendant’s age.

The judge suggested that Eccelstone might not have to be present in court throughout the case.

Ecclestone controlled F1’s commercial rights for several decades, and was known as the sport’s “supremo”.

However, when Liberty Media acquired the commercial rights in 2017, Ecclestone was ousted from his role, ending the Briton’s long reign in the sport.

Ecclestone also caused controversy earlier this year, when he said that he would “take a bullet” for Russian president Vladimir Putin. He since apologised for the comment.

Ecclestone will turn 92 later this month.

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