Banker accused of taking bribes from Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone

Prosecutors in Munich have charged a former executive at a German bank for allegedly taking bribes and have named Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in connection with the 2006 sale of the bank's stake in F1.

Gerhard Gribkowsky, a former member of the management board at the regional bank BayernLB, was in charge of managing the sale of BayernLB's stake to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

Prosecutors say Gribkowsky sold the stake without updating its valuation in return for bribes disguised as consulting contracts. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutor's spokeswoman Barbara Stockinger accused Gribkowsky of personally taking £27.5 million in payments from the "Formula 1 CEO", identified in a news release as "Bernard E", and an affiliated company described variously as Bambino Trust and Bambino Holding. The release did not specify a motive for paying the money.

The prosecutors said Gribkowsky later used BayernLB's funds to pay Mr Ecclestone a commission of £25.8 million and added a further agreement for £15.6 million to Bambino Trust.

Mr Ecclestone, 80, has met prosecutors over the case and says he is confident he will be exonerated of any wrongdoing.

A court must now decide whether Gribkowsky will stand trial on the charges.

Prosecutors claim the money was disguised as payments to an Austrian company set up by Gribkowsky under bogus consulting contracts and paid through shell companies with addresses in Mauritius and the British Virgin Islands. They say Gribkowsky failed to pay German taxes on the money.

BayernLB, or Bayerische Landesbank, held a 48% stake in SLEC Holdings, which owned the companies that run the F1 racing series. At the time, 25% was owned by the family trust of Ecclestone, the long-time commercial head of F1, and the remainder was held by other banks.

CVC bought Mr Ecclestone's and the BayernLB's stakes and regrouped them in a firm named Alpha Prema, becoming the Formula One's majority shareholder. The price of the deal has not been disclosed.

CVC has said it had no knowledge of any payments to Gribkowsky.

Gribkowsky was BayernLB's chief risk officer and a member of the board between 2003 and 2008.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee