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Charges pressed against Bernie Ecclestone [merged]


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#601 Petroltorque

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:38

As someone has previous pointed out Ecclestone's indictment is on Bribery. If he is arguing blackmail as extenuating then that's for sentencing. The crux of the case is that paying off Gibrowsky allowed him to stay in control. There are many more interested parties waiting on the outcome before launching their cases.


Edited by Petroltorque, 02 May 2014 - 13:17.


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#602 jimbox01

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:07

I would be fascinated to see the argument that the trustees would make that they acted in the best interests of beneficiaries by making a blackmail payment.  As opposed to e.g. telling the police.

 

As it is, if a trustee thinks a decision he wants to take is of marginal benefit to the trustees, he can go to Court to get it cleared.  I am betting that the Bambino trustees did not do so.

I completely agree with you, the whole thing stinks, but it would have been a bit difficult for them to go to the authorities when no specific threat was ever made - at least not according to the evidence so far.  It's not as if Bernie/Bambino was being intimidated by some shady underworld character, at that time Gribkowsky was still a highly respected bank official, and making unsubstantiated allegation to the police may have had serious consequences. Do they takes Bernie's word for it and pay a relatively small amount of money for the problem to go away, or do the right thing and risk losing a huge chunk of the trusts' funds?

 

I would imagine Bernie's argument would be along the lines of 'I couldn't tell the police about it because we couldn't prove anything, but I felt it was a very real threat so had to inform the trustees'.



#603 f1fan1998

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:20

Its not just the uber rich .... there have been and still are lots of wheezes that even moderately wealthy people use ... as someone above said, even a normal entrepreneur can negotiate effectively with HMRC.... Hardly surprising that Bernie, Goldman etc can effectively do as they please.  

 

Yes, that was me  :wave:

 

 

Here (on top of the tax mentioned above) you also must pay National Insurance (state health insurance - a tax really) of 12% if you're employed or 9% if you're self-employed. The rate changes to 2% once you get to the maximum 12/9% band (around £40,000).

 

There's a similar way of structuring things if you are a limited company in the UK to the way you mentioned.

 

Or if a UK Ltd company, then the director/s takes a salary which equates to the minimum tax threshold for National Insurance. For the new tax year we have just entered it is £7956. Meaning I have had a pay rise from the government as last year the threshold was £7755. The rest of ones earnings are taken as dividends. Meaning that the directors are paying no employees N.I, the company is not paying employers N.I either.

 

As someone has previous pointed out Ecclestone's indictment is on Blackmail. If he is arguing blackmail as extenuating then that's for sentencing. The crux of the case is that paying off Gibrowsky allowed him to stay in control. There are many more interested parties waiting on the outcome before launching their cases.

 

The HMRC being one of them no doubt - although I don't see how they have a leg to stand on as they have already accepted settlement.



#604 Nemo1965

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:53


The HMRC being one of them no doubt - although I don't see how they have a leg to stand on as they have already accepted settlement.

 

But isn't part of the settlement a full disclosure of the person you are making a deal with? If I would go the Dutch tax-authorities and would say: 'Listen, I've got 20 million on a Liechtenstein bankaccount. It is eating my nerves. Can't we make a deal?', then that deal would judged to be null and void if the taxman would find out that I have 30 million on a Swiss bankaccount as well...



#605 Maustinsj

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 11:50

Or if a UK Ltd company, then the director/s takes a salary which equates to the minimum tax threshold for National Insurance. For the new tax year we have just entered it is £7956. Meaning I have had a pay rise from the government as last year the threshold was £7755. The rest of ones earnings are taken as dividends. Meaning that the directors are paying no employees N.I, the company is not paying employers N.I either


It was £7696 last year. £7755 is the Class 4 limit, not Class 1.

Ps, this year, increase your salary to £10k as if you qualify for the employer's £2k allowance, you'll pay no employer's NI. All you'll pay is 12% employees' NI but save Corporation Tax at 20%! Simples.

That'll be £500 please for that tax advice. Payable to my trustees in Lichtenstein, of course.

#606 jjcale

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:49

I completely agree with you, the whole thing stinks, but it would have been a bit difficult for them to go to the authorities when no specific threat was ever made - at least not according to the evidence so far.  It's not as if Bernie/Bambino was being intimidated by some shady underworld character, at that time Gribkowsky was still a highly respected bank official, and making unsubstantiated allegation to the police may have had serious consequences. Do they takes Bernie's word for it and pay a relatively small amount of money for the problem to go away, or do the right thing and risk losing a huge chunk of the trusts' funds?

 

I would imagine Bernie's argument would be along the lines of 'I couldn't tell the police about it because we couldn't prove anything, but I felt it was a very real threat so had to inform the trustees'.

 

A what???



#607 TriumphST

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 13:34

Indeed. Of course it was sometimes cheesy, speculative and very childish... but regarding the whole blackmail-case and Bernie's tax-evasion it asked a pertinent question: if Bernie is speaking the truth - he was blackmailed by mr. Bigopoehgoeoksy or whatever his name was - it still 'shows' that he used trusts (that were not his, nor under his control, according to him) to pay the blackmail. Which means his agreement with the British taxman was based on a lie... which means that, indeed, as Panorama states, he has withdrawn 2 billion from the British taxman.

 

I think that everyone has the right to moan about the decline about Panorama and the quality of the accusations. But methinks it is a little bit too easy to throw away the music because the tone was not pleasant.

 

So... did the Panorama program offer any new nails in the coffin of mr. Ecclestone? Or not? And why not?

 

I suppose it posed the question and credibility of why a man should place into a trust (from which he can neither benefit nor control) so much of his wealth. Leaving so little that he has to rely on the largess of an ex-wife to the tune of an untaxed £/$100m a year from that self same trust to keep his body and soul nourished?  

 

Now while Panorama were certainly a little short of information but they highlighted fraud/evasion concerns that HMRC would not only be aware of also be considering an intervention in Ecclestone's tax affairs in the light of the earlier revelations of the trusts administrators.

 

But as a very senior tax specialist commented to me yesterday "while the programme failed to be specific enough on detail to draw conclusions, what was patently obvious is the whole thing stinks". Furthermore she informs me that in fraud cases HMRC are not 'time barred' so they can and will go back as far as it takes dependent on the evidence and the possibility of winning the case.

 

Now Ecclestone has been branded a liar by one UK High Court Judge and currently charged in a Munich trial with bribery, why limit discussion on the breath of Mr Ecclestone's other indiscretions? To ignore them and the character traits he ably demonstrates in allegedly fiddling his and F1's tax liability is nonsensical and while often it's seen as a victimless crime but those millions or billions could have been put to better use in our hospitals rather then funding the Ecclestone family's extravagant life style through fraud.



#608 Nemo1965

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 14:05

I suppose it posed the question and credibility of why a man should place into a trust (from which he can neither benefit nor control) so much of his wealth. Leaving so little that he has to rely on the largess of an ex-wife to the tune of an untaxed £/$100m a year from that self same trust to keep his body and soul nourished?  

 

Now while Panorama were certainly a little short of information but they highlighted fraud/evasion concerns that HMRC would not only be aware of also be considering an intervention in Ecclestone's tax affairs in the light of the earlier revelations of the trusts administrators.

 

But as a very senior tax specialist commented to me yesterday "while the programme failed to be specific enough on detail to draw conclusions, what was patently obvious is the whole thing stinks". Furthermore she informs me that in fraud cases HMRC are not 'time barred' so they can and will go back as far as it takes dependent on the evidence and the possibility of winning the case.

 

Now Ecclestone has been branded a liar by one UK High Court Judge and currently charged in a Munich trial with bribery, why limit discussion on the breath of Mr Ecclestone's other indiscretions? To ignore them and the character traits he ably demonstrates in allegedly fiddling his and F1's tax liability is nonsensical and while often it's seen as a victimless crime but those millions or billions could have been put to better use in our hospitals rather then funding the Ecclestone family's extravagant life style through fraud.

 

I think, in retrospect, that if the HMRC starts new investigations into Bernie's taxdealings, Panorama did offer some nails to the coffin...

 

Furthermore, I agree on the general assesment you and your learned friend made of the program. It was a journalistic program for the broad public, not a file for tax-attorneys and not even for F1 anoraks. It painted in broad strokes how Ecclestone has organised his financial life... wether or not he is convicted, at least for the public the program offers enough material to debate the question: legal or illegal, is this morally acceptable behaviour?

 

Perhaps posters will say: 'But that is not the question we are debating?' Well... yes. Because in matters like these the general consensus does matter in the end. I believe it was Karl Popper who said that shifts in paradigms do not occur because of new found facts (... because the facts are already there), but because society as a whole is ready for the change.

 

I sounded a bit like Ron Dennis there... I mean to say: wether or not the HMRC starts digging in to this pile of .... again has certainly to do with general consensus about the moral aspects of Bernie's behaviour, and I dare say that also the case in Germany is heavily influenced by the changing view on 'the rich' and their behaviour.



#609 Petroltorque

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 15:47

Let's face it. Ecclestone is a crook. You don't get that rich as a second hand car salesman without knowing some seriously dubious practices. Before anyone starts issuing writs, this is my honest opinion, or this is what I'll be arguing at the Bailey.

#610 TriumphST

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 17:33

As someone has previous pointed out Ecclestone's indictment is on Bribery. If he is arguing blackmail as extenuating then that's for sentencing. The crux of the case is that paying off Gibrowsky allowed him to stay in control. There are many more interested parties waiting on the outcome before launching their cases.

 

Thinking that the defence is reverting to the 'I didn't know Gribkowsky was a public official' line.....I suppose now everyone and their great great grandma have poo pooed the blackmail defence he was always going to need a fallback position.

 

But as he runs out of stratagems he'll be cognisant of not leaving the plea bargain so late he alienates Judge Peter Noll in the process, just as Gerhard did....


Edited by TriumphST, 02 May 2014 - 17:33.


#611 TriumphST

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 17:59

I completely agree with you, the whole thing stinks, but it would have been a bit difficult for them to go to the authorities when no specific threat was ever made - at least not according to the evidence so far.  It's not as if Bernie/Bambino was being intimidated by some shady underworld character, at that time Gribkowsky was still a highly respected bank official, and making unsubstantiated allegation to the police may have had serious consequences. Do they takes Bernie's word for it and pay a relatively small amount of money for the problem to go away, or do the right thing and risk losing a huge chunk of the trusts' funds?

 

I would imagine Bernie's argument would be along the lines of 'I couldn't tell the police about it because we couldn't prove anything, but I felt it was a very real threat so had to inform the trustees'.

 

Who in their right mind would believe anything that came out of Ecclestone's mouth? 



#612 femi

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 18:50

Who in their right mind would believe anything that came out of Ecclestone's mouth?


F1 teams!

#613 TriumphST

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 22:08

F1 teams!

Believe him no......fear him yes.   As you well know. 



#614 Seano

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 23:50

He's not supposed to get sacked until proven guilty but the growing tide of evidence of his behaviour (blurring both personal and corporate), the judge's description of his character and public's perception of his conduct, must be stretching the board at CVC to absolute breaking point.

 

I can only conclude that CVC have realised that without him, the whole show and their ill advised investment, is likely to collapse completely.

 

The other thing that is strange is what motivates him to cling on, he is a rich as croesus, his family are well provided for whatever happens and the grim reaper is patiently waiting in the wings.

 

His tarnished personal reputation can't be restored but he risks the very life of the sport that gave him everything.

 

What a greedy, selfish and contemptible little man.

 

Seano 



#615 Nemo1965

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:29

Believe him no......fear him yes.   As you well know. 

 

Well, at least they believed him when they though he was negotiating on their behalfs... while he was putting the rights to his own name...



#616 TriumphST

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 08:23

Well todays the day Gerhard Gribkowsky's statement is aired in Munich and Ecclestone sits there and squirms.

 

With forty witnesses due to give evidence for the prosecutors I wondered if Ecclestone had managed to find anyone prepared to testify as to his good character.....



#617 MustangSally

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 18:56

Well todays the day Gerhard Gribkowsky's statement is aired in Munich and Ecclestone sits there and squirms.

 

 

But apparently they smiled and  waved at each other and Gribkowsky has no idea why Bernie  sent him a cheque.

 

Hmmmm . . . .



#618 pdac

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 01:01

Well todays the day Gerhard Gribkowsky's statement is aired in Munich and Ecclestone sits there and squirms.

 

With forty witnesses due to give evidence for the prosecutors I wondered if Ecclestone had managed to find anyone prepared to testify as to his good character.....

 

Maybe Chris Sylt will



#619 TriumphST

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 08:23

Maybe Chris Sylt will

 

That one is guaranteed,  but will he explain how on the one hand Ecclestone who was so afraid of what Gribkowsky might tell HMRC that he paid him millions for his silence, yet seemingly lost any fear of the tax authorities  and baulked when it came to pay the final $2.2m instalment he owed the banker?  



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#620 Marc Sproule

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:17

32 years ago in las vegas. there's an expression that goes with this pic but at the moment it's just not coming to mind......

'

https://www.flickr.c...03/13987182998/



#621 Nemo1965

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:22

But apparently they smiled and  waved at each other and Gribkowsky has no idea why Bernie  sent him a cheque.

 

Hmmmm . . . .

 

That is quite funny. I picture a scene in which Ecclestone gives Gribowsky a cheque to remember him to forget the other cheque.



#622 metz

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 14:01

Political Science 101 states "Money should always be in cash, in small bills, and in an envelope, or (in this case), several large envelopes."