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Ex-Leeds MD imprisoned in Dubai faces fresh fraud claims

The ex-managing director of Leeds United currently imprisoned in Dubai has been hit by further allegations of fraud as his previous employer claims to have “sworn witness statements” incriminating him.

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Gulf Finance House (GFH) Capital, a Dubai-based private equity group for whom David Haigh was previously employed, has said it has sworn witness statements from bank officials revealing that Haigh transferred its money into accounts in his name.

“These statements therefore remove any doubt that Mr Haigh was in receipt of these funds,” the company added.

It comes after Haigh released a lengthy statement last week claiming a report by PwC had shown there was no evidence that he had created fake invoices to illegally divert millions of pounds of funds from GFH, for which he has been in custody since May.

In the statement, he also said he has had to “default” on normal day-to-day commitments, preventing him from “spending even a penny” on living expenses.

However, GFH, who purchased Leeds United football club in 2012, said the transcript of a hearing at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) court “revealed a very different story”.

It said the transcript shows that Haigh currently claims around £26,000 a month on expenses such as a gym membership, telephone, and his partner, and that he applied unsuccessfully to have his weekly allowance doubled from $2050 a week.

‘Despite his claims that it was difficult to receive medical treatment, he has had access to an on-site doctor and has been permitted trips from his cell to receive private, specialist outside medical treatment,” the company said. “In addition, he claimed to be spending $500 per week on medicines in the form of protein, vitamins and supplements.”

The company said it has agreed for £200,000 to be held on Haigh’s account to pay his legal costs.


Haigh was first arrested in May when he arrived in Dubai, over allegations he falsified invoices while at GFH, and prosecutors have been investigating whether or not to press criminal charges since.

Haigh had travelled to Dubai under the belief that he was to discuss a job offer with his previous employer, an act he has subsequently described as “subterfuge”.

The company has accused Haigh of fabricating at least 55 invoices worth £3m, revealed in documents from the DIFC, but he has previously stated that many of the signatures “may be forgeries”.

In May, Haigh had his assets frozen by UK high court judge Justice Males, who said GFH has a “good, arguable case” and that there was a “risk of a dissipation of assets”.

In July, Haigh announced that he was preparing a counterclaim against GFH for monies “in excess of the amount of the claim made against him” after his detainment was extended indefinitely in June.

Last month, he threatened to reveal “damaging allegations” about the company, including one concerning the run-up to its purchase of Leeds, in which Haigh was heavily involved until he left the company earlier this year.

Haigh’s arrest came after he attended a voluntary interview with West Yorkshire Police as part of an investigation into the installation of surveillance equipment at Elland Road, Leeds United’s football ground.

He admitted to overseeing the installation of cameras in the club’s boardroom, which became a police matter following allegations that it may have been funded as a result of a misappropriation of club funds.


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