Posted Jun 25th 2012 1:30PM
Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone should expect Germany to file charges against the executive over his alleged bribery of former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky. That's according to Autoweek, which notes Gribkowsky oversaw the sale of BayernLB's stake in the racing series back in 2006 to CVC Capital Partners, which now holds F1's controlling interest.
According to the report, Gribkowsky has testified that he received US$44 million in payments from Ecclestone while he was deputy chief of Bayern Landesbank. The banker's testimony indicated the payments were intended to keep him from sharing details of the motorsports organization with UK authorities, which could have, in turn, led to a tax investigation. Gribkowsky testified in exchange for a reduced sentence in his own trial for receiving corrupt payments, tax evasion and breach of trust.
Seven months ago, Ecclestone himself testified under immunity that if Gribkowsky had alerted the UK, F1 could have been made to pay more than US$3.14 billion in related taxes. Now, Autoweek reports Ecclestone can likely expect to see an international arrest warrant with his name on it, along with an extradition request. If convicted of bribery, the F1 boss could face up to 10 years in prison.