Former Formula One supremo Ecclestone to face fraud trial next year

Former Chief Executive of the Formula One Group Bernie Ecclestone walks outside Southwark Crown Court in London, Britain October 4, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was told in court on Tuesday he will face trial next year for a charge of tax fraud related to more than 400 million pounds ($454 million) of overseas assets.

The 91-year-old appeared at London’s Southwark Crown Court accompanied by his wife Fabiana, having indicated a not guilty plea to one count of fraud by false representation at a hearing last month.

Ecclestone is accused of having made an "untrue or misleading" representation to the British tax authority between July 2013 and October 2016, according to the Crown Prosecution Service indictment.

The indictment says the British billionaire dishonestly told HM Revenue and Customs that he "established only a single trust" in favour of his daughters and that "other than the trust established for his daughters he was not the settlor nor beneficiary of any trust in or outside the UK".

He was granted unconditional bail ahead of his trial, which is due to begin at the same court on Oct. 9, 2023.

Ecclestone was ousted as Formula One supremo in 2017 when U.S.-based Liberty Media took over the sport's commercial rights.

He maintains an office in London but now spends most of his time abroad, with residences in Switzerland and Ibiza as well as a farm in Brazil.

($1 = 0.8808 pounds)

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

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