Bernie Ecclestone is facing a fraud charge in the United Kingdom ©Getty Images

Ex-Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is set to be charged with fraud by false representation following an investigation by British tax authorities that allegedly found undeclared assets overseas worth more than £400 million ($473 million/€471 million).

The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the charging of the man who spent 40 years at the helm of motorsport's most prestigious competition before being removed as chief executive in 2017.

"The CPS has reviewed a file of evidence from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and has authorised a charge against Bernard Ecclestone of fraud by false representation in respect of his failure to declare to HMRC the existence of assets held overseas believed to be worth in excess of £400m," said Andrew Penhale, chief crown prosecutor.

"The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against this defendant are now active and that they have a right to a fair trial.

"It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

The case will first be heard at Westminster Magistrates' Court on August 22.

It is alleged that Bernie Ecclestone held more than £400 million undeclared assets overseas ©Getty Images
It is alleged that Bernie Ecclestone held more than £400 million undeclared assets overseas ©Getty Images

Simon York, director of HMRC's fraud investigation service, said that the investigation had been complex and worldwide and that the criminal charge relates to projected tax liabilities which were concealed from the HMRC.

"HMRC is on the side of honest taxpayers and we will take tough action wherever we suspect tax fraud," said York.

"Our message is clear - no one is beyond our reach."

Ecclestone was removed from his position as Formula One Group chief executive in 2017 following its takeover by Liberty Media.

The Briton had held an emeritus position until 2020.

Last month, the 91-year-old was castigated for saying he would "take a bullet" for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he described as a "first-class person".

Ecclestone later apologised.