German banker jailed for over eight years in F1 bribery case

City A.M. Reporter
A JUDGE jailed a German banker for more than eight years yesterday for taking $44m (£28.2m) in bribes during the sale of Formula One in a case that centred on a payment from Bernie Ecclestone, the motor sport’s commercial chief.

Presiding judge Peter Noll convicted BayernLB’s former chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky of tax evasion, bribery and breach of fiduciary trust in a court in Munich.

Noll described the billionaire Ecclestone as the “driving force” behind the payments but said Gribkowsky, in turn, had shown “high criminal energy”.

Gribkowsky was arrested in January 2011 over the sale of BayernLB’s 48 per cent stake in Formula One to UK investor CVC, which Formula One chief Ecclestone was keen to see as a new shareholder.

Gribkowsky told the court earlier this month that he received the money and a job offer as part of a secret agreement with Ecclestone in 2005.

Ecclestone has been subject to an investigation by German prosecutors but no charges have been filed against the 81-year-old Briton. He denies wrongdoing and has said he was the victim of coercion by Gribkowsky.

“They based their decisions on what he told them. I told them the truth,” Ecclestone said when asked about the verdict.