Former football chief convicted

26 June 2009 01:50
The former chief executive of Derby County Football Club has been found guilty of false accounting.Jeremy Keith, 41, of Abingdon, Oxfordshire was convicted after a trial at Northampton Crown Court. On Thursday, two former Derby County directors were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the club. Andrew Mackenzie, 55, and Murdo Mackay, 53, claimed cash totalling £440,625 after brokering a loan for the club in the takeover deal in 2003. Former finance director Mackenzie, 55, of Burton Road, Derby, and ex-director of football Mackay, 53, of Fife, Scotland, raised £15m. During the trial, the court heard the loan had been used to convince administrators to sanction the takeover of the club. 'Financial benefit' Richard Sutton QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "As you may expect, it would not have been unusual for the company to have been charged by any person who is acting as broker for providing that loan. "What you would not expect is that those who are taking over the club, those receiving a personal benefit for the assistance of that loan, would also expect to receive a financial benefit from the club for introducing that loan. "The prosecution's case is that Mr Keith, Mr Mackenzie and Mr Mackay took a secret commission from the club." The jury, which had been out for more than six days, reached its verdict in the case of Keith, of Abingdon, Oxfordshire on Friday morning. Jurors were told Derby County FC was struggling in 2003, following relegation from the Premier League the previous year. The Pride Park club owed more than £35m and was put into receivership by the Co-op Bank, the court was told. David Lowe, 58, of Boulevard des Moulins, Monaco, legal adviser during the takeover, was found guilty of helping to launder £81,895 of the £440,625. A fifth defendant, Mark Waters, 48, of Bromley, south-east London, who worked for the board as an accountant in 2003, was found not guilty of falsifying documents. Mackenzie, of Burton Road, Derby, and Mackay, of Fife, Scotland, had denied conspiring to defraud Derby County of £440,625 on or before 8 December, 2003.

Source: BBC_Sport