Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

October 25, 2012

German bank seeking damages from Ecclestone

BERLIN (AP) — A German bank says it's seeking damages from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone over the sale of its stake in the racing series it says was compromised by a bribe to one of its bankers.

BayernLB spokesman Matthias Luecke says the bank wrote to Ecclestone's lawyers this week seeking damages but declined to discuss details. German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung says the claim is over $400 million.

The suit centers on a BayernLB banker, who was convicted this summer of taking a $44 million illegal payment over the 2006 sale of the bank's stake in the company running Formula One. Bank officials argue the reported $750 million price tag was $350 million too low.

Prosecutors said the payment to the banker was a bribe from Ecclestone. The billionaire is under investigation.

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