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Alley
Jul 14th, 2002, 09:24 AM
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - German prosecutors said Saturday they had brought charges against three-times Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker for alleged tax evasion, the latest in a series of blows to hit the sports icon.

"There is sufficient reason to suspect tax offences," said the head of the Munich public prosecutor's office, Manfred Wick. He said the Munich district court had not yet decided whether the charges were admissible for court action to go ahead.

Wick declined to specify the charges. Becker, 34, has been under investigation for allegedly claiming his residence was in Monaco, a tax haven, while in fact living in Germany.

Becker's communications director Robert Luebenoff could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last year Becker's lawyers said the Munich tax inspectorate had asked their client to pay 12 million euros (dollars).

The tennis hero could face a jail sentence if convicted of tax evasion but in November Luebenoff said a compromise should be reached.

The former world number one became the youngest Wimbledon men's champion in 1985, aged 17 years seven months.

He retired from professional tennis in 1999, but remains a sports star in Germany despite a series of setbacks since he quit the game.

Becker tried his luck in sports marketing and advertising and attracted unwanted publicity when he divorced his wife of seven years, the German-American Barbara Feltus. He agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement.

Becker then admitted fathering a baby girl in London with Russian model Angela Ermakova and promised to support the child.

The tax case echoes the woes of Germany's other tennis darling, Steffi Graf, whose father Peter spent nearly two years in jail after being convicted in 1997 of evading $7 million in tax on Steffi's earnings.

Becker has said his personal life spun into crisis after his father, Karl Heinz, died in 1999. He said in March he was finding happiness with a new girlfriend, Iranian-born Patrice Farameh.

irma
Jul 14th, 2002, 09:54 AM
why is this already going on since 1996, how weird.
and why didn't the spiegel write a book yet with all trash they can find!

irma
Jul 14th, 2002, 09:55 AM
and second he dropped his gf again