Three time Wimbledon and six time Slam champ Boris Becker was on Friday sentenced to two years in prison for hiding assets in a bankruptcy. The world has acted in shock at the harshness of the sentence given that the value of the concealment is in only GBP2,5 million. Now, today I want to talk about the case and how sentencing in cases involving celebs and sports stars has changed over the decade. Let me start with how Boris got in this mess. Like the Aranxta Sanchez Vicario case, the German tennis great was being accused of moving funds from his business to third parties to hide them from creditors. In Aranxta’s case it was a bank but with Boris its a number of creditors owed over GBP50 million. This came from interest accumulation on a loan of GBP3 million on his home. What people don’t realize is that money always has a trail you can move money about as much times as you want it always leaves a mark. Since the Bernie Madoff case in the US, a pattern has emerged of sentencing which has turned harsh on economic crime like never before. Bernie left families including his own devastated so naturally judges have taken a hardline stance on those found guilty. Boris is not a first offender which does him little favors. He was sentenced(suspended) to two years in 2002 for tax evasion in his home country as well.
Now the little things in life count a whole lot than people think. Boris arrived in the London court arm in arm with his beautiful girlfriend Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro. In public eye that can be viewed as an unnecessary show of celebrity. Those like it or not, I am not saying they did here, sway a judge to view you as pompous and arrogant and showing no remorse. That is a sign of someone who likes the excesses of life, so I am not saying he is that person but it certainly doesn’t help him at all. Let’s face it, Boris emerged in the 1980s as a teenager when financial education amongst athletes and celebs was virtually non existent. So imagine being that young and coming up with that windfall, it must be overwhelming as is for any child star in show business. So public should judge Boris so harshly.The norm then was that you win a major, the next thing was buy the biggest car, the biggest boat, the biggest house and get the best looking girlfriend or wife not necessarily in that order. That money eventually runs out because in tennis you don’t win every single tournament you enter. So when it does the pressure to maintain the lifestyle makes you mortgage that house that boat and before long you are up in your elbows in debt. So Boris is yet another cautionary tale sad as it might be. I can say hire a financial manager to handle your business but I have seen enough of celebs being swindled by so called managers to know that they have to get that knowledge themselves. One thing for sure, Boris will be back better than ever after this life lesson. There is nothing like prison jump suit and a 2 by 3 room to make you wake up.