Wales

Ex-Wales player Mark Aizlewood charged in football fraud probe

Mark Aizlewood
Image caption Mark Aizlewood's former clubs include Cardiff City, Bristol City, Leeds United and Charlton Athletic

A former Wales footballer is one of six men charged in connection with a multi-million pound fraud involving football-based apprentice schemes.

Mark Aizlewood, 56, from Aberdare, has been charged following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

It follows a probe into Luis Michael Training Ltd (LMT), which allegedly claimed payments for services it did not provide.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday with five others.

Former Middlesborough, Cardiff City and Newport County player Paul Sugrue, 55, from Cardiff, has also been charged along with Keith Anthony Williams, 43, from Anglesey; Christopher Paul Martin, 51 from Newbury; Steven Paul Gooding, 52, from Bridgewater; and Jack William Harper, 29, from Southport.

Mr Aizlewood, who manages Carmarthen Town, Mr Sugrue, Mr Martin and Mr Williams were directors and shareholders of LMT - which purported to provide young people with football-based apprenticeship schemes involving about 80 football clubs.

Mr Gooding and Mr Harper are said to have been employed as recruiters of learners for the company.

It has been alleged that LMT claimed the payments from several Further Education (FE) colleges for training and education services.

A separate but linked attempt to defraud a FE college was allegedly committed by Mr Harper through a company called FootballQualifications.com.

The alleged conduct took place between 2009 and 2011.

The six men will appear before a judge at Southwark Crown Court on 1 June.

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