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Allegations of financial impropriety

Service Area: Fraud

Member: Roger Isaacs

Former senior executives at football pitch operator, Goals Soccer Centre (“Goals”), are under investigation over historic financial irregularities. The former Chief Executive and Finance Chief are alleged to have falsified invoices and deleted old emails in order to destroy evidence.

Indeed, one forensic investigation has allegedly found evidence that one of the two individuals under investigation asked the other to work his “usual magic” to create fake invoices. In addition, both men have allegedly manipulated numbers to avoid VAT payments and breached banking rules.

After revealing the discovery of “improper behaviour” and “fictitious documents”, Goals said it would not be able to file its 2018 accounts by the September 30 deadline, meaning it would be delisted from the stock market and investors would be likely to lose their investments. In fact, trading in its shares was suspended in March, after the company said it had made a “substantial misdeclaration of VAT” totalling approximately £12 million.

A statement from the company said it is clear that inappropriate transactions have taken place, adding that once the company has concluded its findings, the directors alongside its advisers, will “take appropriate action and liaise with the appropriate authorities.” The statement came as the Sunday Times reported that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has opened a probe into alleged fraud at the company.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “When there are any allegations of financial impropriety in a business, the wisest course of action is to engage a forensic accountant.

“A forensic accountant will scrutinise all financial transactions and other evidence, such as matching up invoices with purchase orders and investigating the provenance of any orders.

“These experts will pick up on any anomalies and be able to present their findings in court. By the same token, they will also report if no such anomalies are found.”

Author: Roger Isaacs 27 August 2019