F1 boss in bribery spotlightFebruary 2014
The UK businessman Bernie Ecclestone, who faces corruption charges in Germany, has agreed to resign as a director of the motor racing promotion company Formula One.
Ecclestone, estimated in the last Sunday Times Rich List to be worth £2.5bn ($4.1bn, €3bn), will continue to head day-to-day management at Formula One but will be more closely supervised and stripped of authority to approve and sign “significant contracts”.
He will stand trial in April accused of bribery and incitement to breach of trust by paying $44m (£26.8m, €32.5m) to Gerhard Gribkowsky, chief risk officer of the BayernLB bank, in connection with the undervaluation and sale of a 47% Formula One stake to CVC Capital Partners. Gribkowsky was jailed for eight and a half years for corruption, tax evasion and breach of trust.
Ecclestone, who denies all charges, admitted the payment but said he was effectively a blackmail victim and wanted to silence Gribkowsky. He feared Gribkowsky might report him over his tax affairs. Ecclestone also faces multi-million-dollar lawsuits in Germany and the US over the deal.
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