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Tennis great Boris Becker gets 2 1/2 years in prison on bankruptcy charges

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Tennis great Boris Becker gets 2 1/2 years in prison on bankruptcy charges
German tennis great Boris Becker is seen at Southwark Crown Court in London, Britain, on Friday, where he was sentenced on four criminal charges. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

April 29 (UPI) -- A British judge on Friday handed former Wimbledon champion and tennis great Boris Becker more than two years in prison for hiding money and assets after he declared bankruptcy.

Becker was convicted on four charges earlier this month that said he illegally transferred money and hid assets to keep them from being part of his bankruptcy case. Prosecutors said the German tennis star hid millions of dollars that way.

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Becker, a three-time Wimbledon champion and former men's world No. 1, was convicted of hiding more than $3 million in assets after filing for bankruptcy in 2017. He faced a maximum of seven years in prison.

Becker, 54, was acquitted on 20 other counts, including those related to not handing over two Wimbledon trophies and an Olympic gold medal. The six-time Grand Slam champion was also accused of transferring money into the bank accounts of his wife and ex-wife.

Boris Becker celebrates winning the men's singles final at the Wimbledon Championships in London, Britain, on July 6, 1986. He'd also won the tournament two other times. UPI Photo/File

The jury also found that Becker failed to declare his financial interests in a $1.25 million property in his German hometown of Leimen and hid an $875,000 house loan and an ownership stake in a tech firm.

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Becker's lawyers had argued that he shouldn't face prison time because of the damage already done to his international reputation.

Judge Deborah Taylor disagreed, saying Becker was "in chaos" at time of the bankruptcy but has never shown remorse.

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"I accept the humiliation you may have felt, but there's been no humility," Taylor said in her ruling according to BBC News.

It's estimated that Becker amassed a net worth of almost $50 million, but saw much of it vanish after a pricey divorce, childcare and a luxury lifestyle.

Becker was previously convicted on tax evasion charges in Germany in 2002 and received a suspended two-year sentence.

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