German bank demands $350m from Ecclestone for duping it in Formula One sale scam

London, Fri, 26 Oct 2012 ANI

London, Oct 26 (ANI): Germany bank, BayernLB, has asked Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone to hand hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to them, claiming it was duped over the sale of the motor racing series.

According to the Telegraph, in the latest twist in the scandal regarding Formula One's 2006 sale to private equity, Germany's BayernLB has written 'a letter of demand to Ecclestone asking him to pay back millions in alleged illegal payments and lost earnings to the bank.

BayernLB has demanded Ecclestone pay back 41.4 million dollars in alleged payments made to facilitate the sale as well as up to 350 million dollars, which the bank claims was shaved off F1's price tag in a deal cooked up by a former banker in cahoots with the motor racing supremo, it added.

In June, Gerhard Gribkowsky, the banker who had been Bayern's chief risk officer, was sentenced to eight years in jail for tax evasion and receiving the alleged bribes from Ecclestone, it said.

The paper further said that the German prosecutors allege that Gribkowsky was bribed so that he would wave through the sale of F1 to private equity firm CVC for a knockdown price.

Gribkowsky secretly received 44 million dollars from Ecclestone, which at the trial he claimed was a bribe, the paper further added.

Ecclestone admits the payment was made, eight million pounds from his own account and the rest by his offshore family trust, Bambino, but he denies the payment was a bribe, it said.

Instead, Ecclestone claims, the money was paid to Gribkowsky in a "shakedown" to stop him reporting false allegations of tax evasion to UK authorities.

In addition to the 44 million dollar payment to Gribkowsky from Ecclestone, it was also found that Gribkowsky paid Ecclestone an extra kickback worth 41.4 million dollar from the accounts of BayernLB. (ANI)

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