Ex-F1 boss Ecclestone to be charged with fraud over assets

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FILE - Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone walks in the paddock during the first free practice at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday Nov. 23, 2018. British prosecutors say former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone will be charged with fraud by false representation following a government investigation into his overseas assets. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

LONDON (AP) — Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone will be charged with fraud by false representation following a government investigation into his overseas assets, British prosecutors said Monday.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Andrew Penhale said after reviewing evidence from the tax office, authorities have authorized a charge against Ecclestone over his failure to declare overseas assets worth more than 400 million pounds ($477 million).

Simon York, of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, said the announcement followed a “complex and worldwide” investigation into the 91-year-old businessman's finances.

“The criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than 400 million pounds of offshore assets which were concealed from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs,” he said.

“Our message is clear — no one is beyond our reach," York added.

The case is expected to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Aug. 22.

Ecclestone headed Formula One racing and controlled the sport for for four decades from the 1970s to 2017, when he stepped down as chief executive and Liberty Media took over the series.

He was arrested in Brazil in May for carrying a gun in his luggage while boarding a plane.

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