Mandaric charged with tax evasion

09:52, January 14, 2010      

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Milan Mandaric, the former chairman of Portsmouth, was on Tuesday charged with two counts of tax evasion relating to his time in charge of the Premier League club.

England's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced Mandaric, now chairman of Leicester, had been ordered to appear before City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Feb 11 in connection with a payment of $ 295,000 to another person via a bank account in Monaco.

Mandaric was first informed of the impending charges last month, at which point his solicitors confirmed that the changes related to monies paid to former Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp.

Mandaric and Redknapp both deny any wrong-doing. Mandaric's solicitors have indicated that they will call in tax experts to dispute the authorities' position that the payment was liable for tax and national insurance.

The CPS said in a statement that there was "sufficient evidence" that tax and national insurance had been avoided and it was "in the public interest to charge Mr Mandaric with two counts of cheating the public revenue".

Redknapp, now the manager of Tottenham, was also informed last month he would face charges in relation to the payments and is awaiting a date for a preliminary court hearing.

Peter Storrie, the chief executive of Portsmouth, is due back in court on Jan 20 to answer charges of tax evasion in connection with a signing-on fee allegedly paid to midfielder Amdy Faye when he joined from French club Auxerre.

Storrie continues to be employed by the club, grappling with a financial crisis which has resulted in players and other staff having the payment of their salaries delayed repeatedly this season.

Other clubs owed money for transfers by Portsmouth have also complained of payments being delayed and the Premier League was on Tuesday considering transferring television revenues due to be paid to the club directly to the creditors.

As well as pursuing Mandaric, Redknapp and Storrie individually, the UK tax authorities are seeking to have Portsmouth wound up because it does not believe it will be able to recover tax, national insurance and value added tax payments they say they are owed by the club.

A petition for a move that would effectively result in the club being declared bankrupt was issued last month and a court hearing on the issue is due in February.

Source: China Daily/Agencies
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