Photo: Habeed Hameed, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will be charged with fraud by false representation, following an HMRC investigation.

The criminal charge against the 91-year-old relates to projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400m of offshore assets, which were allegedly concealed from HMRC.

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.

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 suspected of tax fraud is beyond our reach.”

The first hearing in the case is expected on 22 August at Westminster Magistrates Court.