Ecclestone made payment to avoid tax investigation

FORMULA ONE boss Bernie Ecclestone paid a German banker millions of pounds to protect himself from a potentially “extremely expensive” UK tax investigation.

Ecclestone was called as a witness to the German trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky, the banker who denies a number of fraud and tax evasion charges relating to the sale of Formula One in 2005.

A £27m payment made by Ecclestone to Gribkowsky was to stop him from passing false claims to the UK taxman – as opposed to a bung to push the F1 sale through, reported the Daily Mail.

The payment would stop Gribkowsky from making false accusations to the UK taxman about Ecclestone’s ‘Bambino trust’ for his ex-wife Slavica

“I was under the impression that he might have given some information to the Revenue in England, which I did not know much about,” Ecclestone claimed. “If he had done and the Revenue had investigated and been successful, it would have been extremely expensive.”

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