Former F1 boss Ecclestone pleads not guilty to fraud charges

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone formally pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to fraud charges in which he failed to inform the British government of millions of dollars held in a trust fund in Singapore. The 92-year-old billionaire, who wore a dark suit and dark glasses, confirmed his name at Southwark Court in London before pleading not guilty to fraud charges from July 2013 to October 2016.

He is due to stand trial in November after the UK tax authorities launched a global inquiry into his financial situation. Prosecutors allege that when asked about overseas trusts he was interested in, he did not declare a trust with bank accounts in Singapore worth around $650 million.

They allege Ecclestone set up “a single trust” for the benefit of his three daughters and claimed he was “not a beneficiary or settler in any trust, whether in England or abroad”. Prosecutors allege he acted “dishonestly” and sought to profit from the charges. Ecclestone ran F1 races for 40 years from the 1970s to 2017, managing the sport before stepping down as chief executive in 2017 and Liberty Media taking over the series. The businessman denied fraud charges last summer and officially pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

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