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Saturday, 13 July, 2002, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Becker charged with tax evasion
Boris Becker
Becker was the youngest-ever Wimbledon champion

The former German tennis star, Boris Becker, has been charged with tax evasion, according to the head of the public prosecutor's office in Munich, Manfred Wick.

Mr Wick said there was sufficient reason to suspect tax offences had taken place, but he declined to give further details.

The three-times Wimbledon champion could face a jail sentence if convicted.

Mr Becker's spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Decision awaited

The investigation has been running for months.

Barbara Becker and son Noah
Becker and wife Barbara divorced last year

It is now clear that Becker will face tax evasion charges, though the court still has to formally decide whether to accept the prosecutor's case.

No date has been set for a court appearance.

Last year, Becker's lawyer said the Munich tax inspector had asked their client to pay $12m.

But the case is now thought to centre on alleged tax evasion of around $4.75m.

Tax evasion in Germany is not a casual matter.

Mere repayment would not usually be sufficient to satisfy the prosecutors, according to one tax expert, hence the possibility of a jail sentence if found guilty.

Tax investigators handed the prosecutor a 300 page document of evidence.

Traumatic times

The episode comes after a rollercoaster year for Becker, whose fortune was recently estimated to be in the region of $100m.

He was divorced from his wife, Barbara, as details emerged that he had fathered the child of a Russian model, Angela Ermakova, after a brief sexual entanglement in a broom cupboard.

The latest revelation will ensure that the youngest-ever men's Wimbledon champion remains in the headlines.

See also:

14 Jul 02 | Media reports
10 Jul 01 | Europe
09 Jan 01 | Europe
07 Feb 01 | Europe
15 Jan 01 | Europe
20 Oct 01 | Europe
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