Betrayal of Trust
Reporter: DAWN MARSDEN
Date online: 02 October 2013
TRUST Oldham’s finance director has pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud after forging signatures on cheques and stealing £2,425.
Mike Nuttall of Samuel Street, Levenshulme, fraudulently wrote cheques from the Trust’s account between March 2011 and May 2012.
The fraud was discovered by Trust Oldham’s director Barry Owen who found cheques written to Nuttall’s mother, fellow board member Mark Corbett, the Junction Inn pub in Ripponden Road (where Nuttall is a former landlord) and Admiral Taverns, the pub’s supplier.
On four of the cheques Nuttall had forged Mr Owen’s signature before countersigning in his own name.
Nuttall, whose solicitor said had suffered a breakdown since discovery of the fraud, admitted all six offences. He will be sentenced in Manchester on October 23.
Police also arrested a second man during their fraud investigation, who was later released without charge.
The Trust was set up in 2003 to save the club from liquidation, after former owner Chris Moore left the business in dire financial straits.
When Simon Corney, Simon Blitz and Danny Gazal took over in 2004, members paid £200,000 for a three per cent stake, so supporters would have a voice at board meetings.
Members raise funds to secure the club’s financial future and hand over around £1,000 a month.
Barry Owen said: “Mike Nuttall looked after financial affairs and until recently there was never a reason to suspect anything. I would hope the court takes into account that the money stolen was money donated by fans.
“Instances such as this always put the honesty and integrity of directors into doubt but I want to assure Oldham fans that everything is now in order.
“The actions of Mike Nuttall will take the Trust some time to recover.”
Have Your Say