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Carmarthen Town boss charged over multi-million pound fraud

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Mark Aizlewood: Town boss is one of six men charged with fraud

Mark Aizlewood: Town boss is one of six men charged with fraud

CARMARTHEN TOWN manager and former Wales international footballer Mark Aizlewood is one of six men charged in connection with a multi-million pound fraud involving footballbased apprentice schemes.

Aizlewood, 56, from Aberdare was among six defendants in the dock of Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday (May 4), charged with offences ranging from conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, to fraud and using a false instrument, after an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

The Town boss enjoyed a glittering football career that saw him earn 39 international caps for Wales whilst having spells at clubs such as Leeds United, Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City.

Former Middlesbrough, Cardiff City and Newport County player Paul Sugrue, 55, from Cardiff, who has also been charged with the offences, joined him in the dock along with Christopher Paul Martin [51, from Newbury, England], Keith Anthony Williams [43, from Anglesey, Wales], Steven Paul Gooding [52, from Bridgwater, England] and Jack William Harper [29, from Southport, England].

Aizlewood was among four director-shareholders of Luis Michael Training, a firm set up to enrol, assess and verify numbers of young people working on apprenticeships and NVQs in community sport, mainly through football clubs and coaching companies.

It is alleged Luis Michael Training Ltd (LMT) claimed payments from several Further Education Colleges for training and education services they did not, in fact, provide.

Mark Aizlewood, Paul Anthony Sugrue, Christopher Paul Martin and Keith Anthony Williams were directors and shareholders of Luis Michael Training Ltd.

Steven Paul Gooding and Jack William Harper are said to have been employed as recruiters of learners for this company.

It is alleged that a separate but linked attempt to defraud a Further Education college was committed by Jack William Harper, through a company called FootballQualifications.com.

The alleged conduct took place between 2009 and 2011.

In 2012 the Serious Fraud Office gave a provisional estimate of £1.6m for the fraudulent claims suspected to have been made by LMT after being referred the case by Gwent Police in 2011.

Some £6m of government funds had been poured into the footballcoaching scheme through the Skills Funding Agency. Overseen by Newport-based LMT, the scheme developed links to clubs such as Leeds, Millwall and Nottingham Forest. LMT was subject to a compulsory winding-up order in October 2011, brought on behalf of Sparholt College in Hampshire, which presented the winding up petition for the sum of £2,573,994.

The Insolvency Service subsequently disqualified Aizlewood from being a company director for six years following his role in LMT.

The serious Fraud Office, which was involved in the LMT investigation because it involved public funds said in 2012 that: “It is suspected that LMT produced false documentation, including registration papers, progress reviews and coaching examination certificates to falsely show to further education colleges and examining boards that training and apprenticeship placements had been successfully achieved and completed

“Through the colleges, LMT received payment for each apprentice enrolled and placed with an employer. The colleges were, in turn, funded through a government scheme overseen by the Skills Funding Agency.”

When asked by The Herald for comment, Robert Lloyd, communications director at Carmarthen Town AFC, said: “Mr Aizlewood made the club aware of the proceedings some time ago. The allegations have nothing whatsoever to do with Mr Aizlewood’s work for Carmarthen Town AFC. We are, of course, aware of the progress of the court case and will be monitoring the situation appropriately.”

The six defendants will make their next appearance at Southwark Crown Court on 1 June 2016.

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Witness appeal after car is stolen and burnt out

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a car from a property in Lando Road, Burry Port, which was later found burnt out in Pembrey Country Park.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the theft of the blue Ssangyong Rexton, which took place sometime between 5pm on Friday, 11th November, and 9am on Saturday, 12th November, and would like to speak to anyone who may have information or CCTV or dashcam footage.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DP-20221112-109

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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