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Op Gallic: CPS and HMRC charging statement on an alleged large-scale fraud against Bernie Ecclestone

|News, Fraud and economic crime

The CPS has authorised the charging of Bernard Charles Ecclestone with fraud by false representation, following a HMRC investigation.

Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “The CPS has reviewed a file of evidence from HMRC and has authorised a charge against Bernard Ecclestone of fraud by false representation in respect of his failure to declare to HMRC the existence of assets held overseas believed to be worth in excess of £400m.

“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against this defendant are now active and that they have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Simon York, Director, Fraud Investigation Service (FIS), HMRC, said: “We can confirm that a fraud by false representation charge has been authorised against Bernard Ecclestone. This follows a complex and worldwide criminal investigation by HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service. The criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400m of offshore assets which were concealed from HMRC.

“HMRC is on the side of honest taxpayers and we will take tough action wherever we suspect tax fraud. Our message is clear – no one is beyond our reach.

“We remind people to refrain from commentary or sharing of information that could prejudice proceedings in any way. This is now a matter for the courts and we will not be commenting further.”

Notes to editors

  • Andrew Penhale is the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Serious Economic Organised and International Directorate (SEOCID)
  • SEOCID was launched on 1 April 2022 and is the CPS response to the changing nature of crime by bringing together specialists in organised and economic crime as the lines in this criminality is being blurred even more.
  • Simon York is the Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service.
  • The first hearing in this case is at 10am on 22 August at Westminster Magistrates Court.

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