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SBD Global/June 5, 2014/Finance

Dubai Court Freezes Global Assets Of Jailed Former Leeds United Exec Haigh

A judge has granted an interim worldwide freezing order on the assets of former GFH Capital Deputy CEO David Haigh "following a hearing at the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts on Tuesday," according to Beatrice Thomas of ARABIAN BUSINESS. In the civil case hearing before Deputy Chief Justice John Chadwick, who was presiding via video link from London, lawyers for GFHC "also applied for an interim search order on his assets, which was also granted." Haigh had also been referred to the Public Prosecution for trial on charges of "embezzlement, swindling and breach of trust," though it is understood to date no criminal charges have been laid with Tuesday’s hearing "related only to the civil matter" (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 6/4). In London, James Riach wrote documents from the Dubai Int'l Financial Centre "have revealed the extent of the allegations against Haigh, who denies all wrongdoing despite being held in a Dubai police station for 18 days." GFHC accused the former Leeds managing director of fraud and embezzlement, "with detailed documents alleging he fabricated at least 55 invoices to secure payments to five different bank accounts," two in Dubai and three in the U.K. The court documents allege that "false invoices were made for a number of financial projects." These included "Project Bremner," "Project Offside" and "Project Athena," the latter set up to complete due diligence on Cellino before Leeds agreed to sell a controlling 75% stake in the club to the Italian. The court documents also allege that Haigh created a number of "false fee notes" (GUARDIAN, 6/4). BDAILY's Clare Burnett wrote Sports Capital, the Guernsey-based consortium affiliated with Haigh, "is being urged to drop their winding up petition against the club." The petition "was called in April before Eleonora Sports and Massimo Cellino’s takeover was complete, and being disputed by the Football League." It "was intended to reclaim" the near £1M ($1.7M) that Haigh had loaned to the club (BDAILY, 6/4).
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