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Ecclestone indicted on German bribe charge

Bernie Ecclestone, president and CEO of Formula 1 (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)Prosecutors in Munich have indicted Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for bribery.

He’s accused of paying $44 million to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky of Bayern Landesbank, the BBC reported Wednesday.

In exchange, prosecutors said, Gribkowsky helped Ecclestone buy shares in F1 controlled by his bank.

Gribkowsky is serving an eight-and-a-half year jail sentence in Germany.

At the banker’s trial last year, Ecclestone said he made the payment under duress when Gribkowsky threatened to trigger a U.K. tax investigation.

Ecclestone sold the Formula 1 racing series to private equity fund CVC in 2006 for $1.6 billion.

He told the BBC his lawyers received the indictment Wednesday.

CNN said Sven Thomas, a lawyer for Ecclestone, ‘confirmed receiving the indictment from Munich prosecutors, which specifies claims of aiding and abetting breach of trust and of bribery.’

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Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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