Wednesday, 20 June 2012
German Banker Confesses To Taking $50 Million In Bribes From Bernie Ecclestone
COLOGNE, Germany – In a dramatic turn in the long-running bribery probe into the Formula One racecar circuit, a German banker has admitted to receiving $50 million (€44 million) in bribes from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone. The money, according to Bavarian banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, was paid in exchange for him waving through a dubious deal to sell a 48 percent stake in Formula One to an Ecclestone-friendly investment group.
Gribkowsky has been in custody since early 2011 on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion. He made the confession on Tuesday, just ahead of sentencing in the case.
The trial involves events dating back six years ago, when Gribkowsky’s bank, BayernLB, was charged with the sale of the F1 stake. BayernLB, one of the major creditors of late German mogul Leo Kirch’s KirchGroup, took control of the F1 stake after KirchGroup went bust