Newcastle United ‘Abused Tax System’, HMRC Alleges
The BBC news website are reporting that Newcastle United “systematically abused” the tax system to “secretly” make payments to agents and players during transfers, a court has heard. The allegations emerged after the Tyneside club challenged a raid by HM Revenue and Customs in April.
United argued no reasonable grounds existed for believing it had engaged in tax fraud, but High Court judges ruled the warrants were “lawfully issued”. The club said it was “disappointed” and “considering its options”.
St James’ Park and West Ham’s London Stadium were raided as part of a £5m fraud investigation.
Business and financial records were seized, along with computers and mobile phones, and Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley was among several men arrested and later released without charge.
The club challenged the legality of the search-and-seize orders obtained by HMRC, and a hearing has been held at Leeds Crown Court. HMRC argued that reasonable grounds existed for believing Newcastle United was ”knowingly involved” in a multimillion-pound tax fraud, and the club’s application for judicial view was dismissed.
The full judgement has now been published.