Six will face court after being charged by police investigating missing £10.25m council loan to Northampton Town FC
They will appear next month accused of making undeclared donations to Northampton conservatives
Five men and a woman will face court in connection with a long-running police investigation into a missing £10.25m borough council loan to Northampton Town FC, Northamptonshire Police have announced this morning.
The first hearings relating to the investigation will take place next month, almost six years after detectives began a criminal investigation into the disappearance of cash which was supposed to pay for re-development of the club's East Stand at Sixfields, a spokesperson for the force said.
Six people will appear before Northampton Magistrates' Court on Friday, July 16, in respect of offences under Section 54(7) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the spokesperson added.
A person providing a donation over £500 to a political party is legally required to give details of the source of the funds.
The five men and a woman, aged between 47 and 70, and from Buckinghamshire and Middlesex, face charges under the legislation, dating back to 2014. The defendants are:
■ Nutan Bhimjiyani, aged 60, and Sharad Bhimjiyani, aged 65, both of Headstone Lane, Harrow
■ Nirav Vinodray Sheth, aged 47, of Uppingham Avenue, Stanmore
■ Gary Platt, aged 65, of West Drive, Harrow
■ Alan Mayfield, aged 64, of Hill Farm Road, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross
■ Leonard Western, aged 70, of Holmside Rise, South Oxley, Watford
The spokesperson said: "Charges allege they “without reasonable cause, being the principal donor of a donation of more than £500 to a registered party, namely Northampton South Conservative Association, failed to ensure that, at the time when the donation was received by the party, the party was given all such details in respect of the person treated as making the recordable donation as were required by virtue of paragraph 2 or 2A of Schedule 6 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000”.
Northamptonshire Police will not make further comment until the conclusion of these legal proceedings, the spokesperson added.
Editor's note: This story has been updated following a further statement from Northamptonshire Police on Monday, June 21, 2021. A spokesperson for the force said: "Solicitors for one of the defendants, Brijkumar Parekh have informed Northamptonshire Police that their client died earlier this year and, as such, proceedings against him will be withdrawn."