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Trawling through the evidence

Member: Nifa

An investigation into a £10.25 million loan to Northampton Town FC has necessitated the analysis and examination of thousands of financial transactions, more than 500 statements and more than 2,100 exhibits.

The case revolves around a loan of more than £10 million by Northampton Borough Council to the football club to enable it to complete a stadium development in 2013.

However, only a small proportion of the funds was ever passed on to the stadium builders and the club later defaulted on the loan repayments.

In 2015, the police launched an investigation, which has thrown up more than 700 active lines of enquiry and has finally resulted in the arrest of seven people. In addition, nine further people have been interviewed under caution.

The police statement said that although they would not routinely report on ongoing work, they recognise that this must be balanced against “the understandable public interest” in the case.

The statement goes on to say that, as part of the 700 separate lines of enquiry, they are continuing to investigate and analyse the results of thousands of financial transactions relating to allegations of theft and fraud, bribery, misconduct in public office and electoral offence. The statement ends by saying that the investigative activity will “continue for some months yet”.

Investigations involving such a number of allegations will take a huge amount of time and a team of forensic investigators, which will typically include specialist forensic accountants, will drill deeply not only into financial transactions, but also interviews with key people, paper and digital documentation and even telephone records.

Cases such as these highlight the importance of seeking professional advice from a dedicated and qualified forensic accountant when handling complex cases of financial mismanagement.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 19 September 2017

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