Reigning Formula 1 veteran Bernie Ecclestone pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of massive tax evasion with which he was indicted in the UK.
At 91, Ecclestone appeared in a dark suit, escorted by his lawyers and bodyguards, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where he had been summoned.
During his appearance, he was asked to state his identity and later pleaded not guilty. He remains free until a next hearing scheduled for September 19.
He is accused of not having declared to the British tax authorities more than 400 million pounds (473 million euros) of assets abroad, between 2013 and 2016.
The prosecution authorized his indictment in July after a tax investigation presented as “complex and international.”
Bernie Ecclestone ruled F1 for almost 40 years. He left his position as the leader of the world’s elite motorsports in January 2017, after being fired by the discipline’s new commercial rights holder, the American group Liberty Media.
A short-lived racing driver in the late 1950s and later boss of the Brabham team, the British businessman, whose fortune was estimated by Forbes magazine at more than £2.5bn, is widely regarded as the architect of F1’s transformation. , which has become a lucrative activity under his government.
Specifically, at the end of the 1970s it was one of the pioneers in the commercialization of television retransmission rights for sporting events.
“Troublemaker. Typical travel fan. Food fanatic. Award-winning student. Organizer. Entrepreneur. Bacon specialist.”