Luxembourg home and offices of Leopard Trek owner Flavio Becca raided by police

Companies connected to businessman investigated for fraudulent embezzlement, say local press reports

by Simon_MacMichael   September 22, 2011  

Leopard Trek during Stage 1 of 2011 Vuelta (copyright Tour of Spain/Graham Watson).jpg

The Luxembourg home and offices of Flavio Becca, the businessman who is the backer of world number one-ranked team Leopard Trek which features the country’s star sportsmen Frank and Andy Schleck, have been raided as part of an investigation into fraudulent embezzlement, according to local press reports.

Luxembourg-published tabloid magazine Privat says the police raids were carried out on Tuesday and concern a number of companies with which Mr Becca, whose parents moved to the Grand Duchy from Italy when he was a child, is involved. The website Wort.lu reports that a spokesman for the public prosecutor has confirmed that the raids took place.

There is no suggestion that Leopard Trek is specifically involved in the investigation, which Privat suggests is related to tax issues that could take some time to resolve. It adds that no indictment has yet been placed against the entrepreneur, whose interests range from property to food.

News of the investigation of a backer of one of the sport's leading teams follows the revelation that the Padova enquiry in Italy has been increasingly focusing on the financial affairs of persons connected with the sport.

While there is no hint whatsoever that the raids are connected with Becca’s activities in cycling, they do throw a possibly unwelcome spotlight on his affairs in the wake of the recent announcement that RadioShack and Nissan will be sponsoring Leopard next year, with a number of riders moving across from the existing RadioShack team.

Becca, who earlier this year was said to have invested €15 million in Leopard Trek, remains team owner, with the new entity racing under the Leopard SA’s current ProTeam license, although it has been reported that the new sponsorship means that his financial backing next year will be at a lower level than in the team’s debut season.

Since press reports of what has been portrayed as a merger of the two teams first surfaced, the picture has been rather confused, however, with Leopard Trek and RadioShack putting out press releases confrming the rumours that contained a number of contradictions.

Moreover, the status of some riders for next season, particularly those whose contracts are held with the soon-to-be-defunct RadioShack team, remains unclear, while even the planned future name of the team itself – RadioShack-Nissan-Trek – appears to fall foul of UCI rules that only allow teams to have two sponsor names at ProTeam level, as pointed out by The Inner Ring blog.

 

5 user comments

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If the police arrest the whole team, the problems will start when they want to know which one is Spartacus.

Noli porcum linguere

captain_slog's picture

posted by captain_slog [264 posts]
22nd September 2011 - 19:52

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Big Grin

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7981 posts]
22nd September 2011 - 20:14

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We really do need to get some sort of 'like' button for comments

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
22nd September 2011 - 21:54

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captain_slog wrote:
If the police arrest the whole team, the problems will start when they want to know which one is Spartacus.

This man deserves schwag.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [483 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 9:57

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Big Grin good one ...

posted by Karbon Kev [668 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 14:23

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