Five charged over alleged South Wales mines fraud
Five people have been charged with conspiracy to defraud in relation to the sale of four open-cast mining sites in South West Wales.
Two of the men were directors of Celtic Energy, while the others — including a former director of Neath rugby club and the former chief executive of Cardiff City FC — were lawyers.
The alleged fraud revolved around the setting up of companies in the British Virgin Islands and the intended transfer of the mines's freeholds — for East Pit near Cwmllynfell, Nant Helen in the Upper Swansea Valley, Selar near Glynneath and Margam near Bridgend — from Celtic.
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Richard Walters, 32, and 38-year-old Leighton Humphreys were directors of the mining company at the time the deals are alleged to have been done. Eric Evans, 67, — a former director of Neath RFC — Alan Whiteley, 48, the former chief-exec of the Bluebirds, and 30-year-old Frances Bodman from of Bridgend were solicitors.
None of the allegations relate to any dealings connected to Neath RFC or Cardiff City.
A spokesman for Celtic Energy said the company could not comment on the on-going case, but that the "day-to-day running" of the firm would not be effected.
The defendants are due to appear at City of London Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, January 30. They are accused of conspiracy to defraud Neath Port Talbot Council, Bridgend Council, Powys Council and The Coal Authority.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) began their investigation in January 2011.The operation involved 90 offices from the SFO, South Wales Police, Gwent Police, the Met in London and the West Midlands force.
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