Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One’s big chief, is facing increased scrutiny from the UK’s revenue and customs authorities prior to appearing as a witness in the high profile bribery case of German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.The Telegraph reports that Britain’s Attorney General’s Office and HM Revenue & Customs want to look into payments that Ecclestone paid to Gribkowsky relating to the sale of Formula One in 2006. Ecclestone has not denied making the payments, totaling $44 million in all, but denies that the money was a bribe.
Bloomberg reports that Gribkowsky demanded the money from Ecclestone as a reward for allowing the 2006 deal. The German threatened to disclose tax violations Ecclestone had made if the payment did not arrive.
A significant chunk of the payment came from an offshore family trust called Bambino. The Telegraph suggests that if Ecclestone is found to be closely connected with Bambino by HM Revenue & Customs then he could be forced to pay UK tax on it.
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