Former Formula 1 driver Bernie Ecclestone has been charged with fraud by false representation, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

The 91-year-old billionaire businessman failed to declare overseas assets believed to be in excess of £400 million, according to investigators.

The prosecution was authorized by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Monday following an investigation by HMRC.

Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “The CPS reviewed the evidence file from HMRC and authorized a charge of fraud by false representation against Bernard Ecclestone in relation to his failure to declare to HMRC the existence of assets held overseas believed to be worth over £400m’.

HMRC’s Simon York said the investigation was “complex and global in scale” and concerned “projected tax liabilities arising from more than £400m of offshore assets that were hidden from HMRC”.

“HMRC is on the side of honest taxpayers and we will take tough action wherever we suspect tax fraud,” he said.

“Our message is clear – no one is beyond our reach.”

The case will be heard for the first time at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 22.

Mr Ecclestone’s long reign in Formula 1 ended in 2017when he stepped down as executive director.

According to Forbes, his worth exceeds 2.5 billion pounds.

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