Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:38 PM
Currently, there's a civil suit against him in New York state. There are enough ways to delay a lawsuit in the U.S. that, without trying to be morbid, they can probably make the civil suit outlive Ecclestone himself before its ever settled or heard in court.
I believe Ecclestone would face criminal charges in Germany as the result of an investigation, if he did.
Hopefully, their plan works out if they need to result to it. Say what you want about Ecclestone (waaaah he took away a horrible track in France, waaaaaah he made the sport too expensive for a con artist to field an IndyCar out of Robby Gordon's old shop, waaaaaaaah he's the reason I don't get to listen to Bob Varsha anymore ), but he has taken the value of Formula One and multiplied it by a huge amount. That doesn't excuse illegal conduct, and that doesn't mean everything he did was a success (F1 has to be in new markets, that's just reality, but they haven't quite figured out how to do that).
I know it's impossible to talk about Ecclestone without calling him a "greedy old Hobbit," which is very clever and original I'm sure, and I know it's easier to point out races that aren't working or the sanctioning fees (yet, for being so high, we have the largest calendar in a long time with 20 rounds, and many other tracks/governments making bids to be included in the future) or whatever, but he's gotten good results for Formula One overall. It's a shame some of the means of getting there aren't going to turn out to be very ethical...
Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:50 PM
2 He is old, he will die
3 He is not a Hobbit - he wears shoes
4 F1 will survive without him
5 The case being brought against him (apart from bribery claims) seems a little, shall we say, thin...I would imagine that any tender document (when F1 was sold) had the clause "the highest tender will not necessarily be chosen" - that's a pretty stock standard clause.
Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:12 PM
There has been a discernable pattern: whenever he [Bernie] has faced complications over his financial affairs, these have invariably been accompanied by suggestions of a race in the region. For example, no sooner had the question of an investigation of his tax affairs in Britain been raised, than he suggested a race on the streets of London, one he may even, he intimated, pay for.
When things hotted up in Germany in July he was immediately linked with the buyout of the beleaguered Nurburgring, while Magny-Cours was thrown into the French melting pot – rather than a race at Paul Ricard, owned by his family trust – when questions were raised about the transparency of said trust. In short, Ecclestone is a master of obfuscation.
Thus it may not be a coincidence that he spoke of three US races on Sky TV on the very day a summons was issued – against him and six others, including CVC Partners, the jailed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky and his former employer Bayern Landesbank, and various F1-related companies – by a New York court.
After all, what better way of deflecting attention of the pending $650m lawsuit brought by an aggrieved potential investor than by talking of not one, or two, but three US GPs in the very near future? Although the grounds for the suit seem dubious at first reading, their significance should not be underestimated, for the parties will be required to make full disclosures under oath as part of any defence.
These could in turn impact on the various legal battles the parties currently face: the state prosecutor in Munich recently confirmed to this column that criminal investigations into Ecclestone's conduct in the $44m Gribkowsky case are ongoing, the tax investigation in the UK is believed to be underway, BayernLB has stated it wishes to recover around $60m paid to Ecclestone in commission after questions surfaced during said bribery case, and a German company going under the name of Constantin Media is attempting to recover $100m in payments it alleges it missed out on during a sale of F1's commercial rights.
Total: $850m, plus the tax investigation, which involves billions in trust monies.
Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:31 PM
There might be exceptions in full disclosures. I'm not a lawyer (to the surprise of no one), but it's my understanding that you cannot be compelled to testify in a civil case if and only if it could be used against you in a future criminal proceeding. What I do not know is if that applies to a future criminal proceeding in Germany, however; if there is no possibility of a criminal proceeding in New York (I don't believe there is), he may not be afforded at least that privilege. However, they may also be allowed to continue to delay this case being heard by arguing for consistency in this protection, i.e. not hearing this case until after any German criminal case that may happen. Basically, I feel as if charges are pressed in Germany, the New York case won't be heard until after that is done because it would go against the normal course of having criminal and civil suits in the same jurisdiction where it most logically begins with criminal proceedings (much higher burden of proof) and then moves to civil procedure. For example, the IRS usually operates in this fashion with high-profile targets; they'll be charged as criminals to create a "scare," be found not guilty, and then be sued for back-taxes plus interest etc in civil proceeding where it is easier to win. I've only really dealt with specific parts of law (all U.S., mostly in contracts, agencies, the Constitution, and morons who spill coffee on themselves); I'm no expert in what happens to a guy who has a civil suit in New York and a possible criminal charge in Germany. Of course, I'm no expert in any of the things I've studied, either, or really on anything at all.
Moreover, I don't see the New York case being tried. I'll have to read through it when the semester's over.
Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:17 PM
I honestly couldn't care less what happens.
For once, I will pay Bernie a compliment.
He does know and understand racing. He's a difficult person to understand, but you feel that he still has the passion for it. I hope when the time comes that his successor is announced that it is someone who has been in racing for a long time and knows the score well so there's a smooth transition, rather than some guy I've never heard of from the top end of some big business or whatever who hasn't a clue about racing.
Edited by JHS18, 27 November 2012 - 09:17 PM.
Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:54 PM
So, yeah, it's been going on for a long time. Don't expect a quick ending, either.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:26 AM
Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:45 AM
Worse than that, it turns out that you are not really married to Britney Spears either - the documents just wouldn't stand up in court
The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Robert Bloch
Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the hell is the ceiling?
I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:58 AM
Maybe it will take just one more title for the German government to move from looking the other way to definitely closing the case against Ecclestone.
Juuuuust one more....
Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:18 AM
Thank the universe for that then...I was getting really worried there....
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