German prosecutors have formally named ‘Bernard E’ as the alleged source of an almost $50 million bribe paid to jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.
The development comes just hours before F1’s 80-year-old chief executive Bernie Ecclestone had scheduled to travel to the country for round ten of the world championship at the fabled Nurburgring.
Although the Briton has not yet been charged, charges of breach of trust, tax evasion and receipt of corrupt payments have now been laid against Gribkowsky, according to London’s Times newspaper.
The charges also allege that Ecclestone received millions in commissions from the BayernLB bank after paying its then chief risk officer Gribkowsky the bribe.
It is speculated that Ecclestone may ultimately be charged with aiding and abetting Gribkowsky.
Prosecution spokeswoman Barbara Stockinger confirmed in a news release that the reference to ‘Bernard E’ is to the “Formula one CEO”, and identified his companies known as Bambino.
The prosecutors also confirmed to the Financial Times that Ecclestone, who was not available for comment to publications, remains under investigation.
Formula One Mangement did not return a phone call, Bloomberg said.