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Banker jailed for $44m Formula 1 bribe

The Local · 27 Jun 2012, 16:11

Published: 27 Jun 2012 16:11 GMT+02:00

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Gerhard Gribkowsky, 54, who was risk manager at the Bayern Landesbank, admitted taking the bribe from Ecclestone in 2006.

He took the payment in return for ensuring that a majority share of Formula 1 rights, which fell to the bank following the bankruptcy of the Kirch media group, were sold to Ecclestone’s preferred candidate.

He also did not declare the money to the German tax authorities, moving it instead to Austria to found a charity.

During his final arguments on Wednesday in Munich district court chief prosecutor Christoph Rodler accused Gribkowsky of “immense criminal energy”. But the banker’s defence team argued Gribkowsky had been seduced by Ecclestone.

The entire case severely implicated Ecclestone, who is also being investigated by German prosecutors. In his trial testimony, Ecclestone claimed the banker had blackmailed him for the money – something rejected by Rodler on Tuesday.

Gribkowsky had “dropped his trousers” with his detailed confession last week, his lawyers said – in return for the court agreeing to limit any jail sentence to less than nine years.

“Today one would want to turn back time. Sadly that is not possible,” said Gribkowsky.

Story continues below…

The court sentenced him to eight-and-a-half years.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:36 June 27, 2012 by The-ex-pat
As usual when it comes to tax and bribery, a longer sentence than a sex offender or kiddy fiddler!
22:29 June 27, 2012 by lucksi
So, does he get to keep the money?
22:57 June 27, 2012 by raandy
We are not told how they discovered his crime. I doubt he came forward on his own, being he had millions hid away.

The court systems here are hard on those who do not pay their fair share of tax.That in itself makes his incarceration time greater than a mere pedophile.

He admitted his part in this for a sentence less than 9 years so I assume had he not, his time would have been more.

What kind of analogy is "dropping his trousers" for a guy on his way to the slammer.
08:07 June 28, 2012 by frankgrilla
@lucksi...that is a good question.....I also want to know if he gets to keep the money....hell, i would do 8yrs for 1million let alone 44million EUROS!!!

@raandy...yeah reallly....what kind of analogy is "dropping his trousers" for a guy period............
11:27 June 29, 2012 by Floriansamsel
If our Justice was just, Ecclestone would have to accompany him to jail.

Anyway, I bet he will not stay in there the whole period of 8,5 years.

If it's true that he founded a charity with the money, with all the money I mean, he's not such a bad guy after all. I think he has learned his lesson well and everybody (above all the Ecclestones in this world) knows that money is a powerful seducer.

For this reason, let him go and leave the place in jail to real criminals (see the first comment of The-ex-pat).
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