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Archive - Tuesday, 15 June 2004
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Reynolds held in police cash swoop
FORMER Darlington Football club chairman George Reynolds was last night being held in police custody on suspicion of money laundering.
Police swooped on a car containing Mr Reynolds, 68, former football club director Richard Tennick, 57, and his personal assistant Ian Robinson, 42, as it travelled through High Etherley, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, yesterday afternoon.
An officer from the Regional Assets Recovery Team, based at Durham Police's headquarters in Durham City, and several other police officers were involved in the operation where they recovered hundreds of thousands of pounds from the vehicle.
All three men were last night being held at Bishop Auckland police station where they were helping with inquiries.
The arrests come only weeks after Mr Reynolds announced he was putting his turbulent times in charge of Darlington Football Club behind him to build a new business in the fashion industry.
He spoke of his plans to open shops selling high class evening wear and lingerie and thus creating a new business for Mr Tennick, who is also his cousin, and Mr Robinson.
It followed months of uncertainty over the club. The Quakers plunged into administration with enormous debts on December 23 with the nightmare ending for supporters and the creditors only last week when Football League bosses approved the Sterling Consortium's takeover of the club.
The backing of the Football League was essential to complete the Quakers' escape from the threat of liquidation which was staved off after a deal was struck between Mr Reynolds and Sterling.
Mr Reynolds' backing meant 88.82 per cent of the vote went in favour of the Sterling-funded company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
He agreed to support the CVA, which offered a total of £150,000 to creditors in exchange for Sterling dropping its pursuit of bankruptcy proceedings against him.
The former Quakers chairman was last grilled about his business dealings in court in January when he gave evidence into the collapse of one of his former companies George Reynolds UK (GRUK).
The County Durham firm went into voluntary liquidation with debts of £4.7m in October 2002.
The public examination of its finances was called by the Official Receiver to help liquidators Deloitte and Touche recoup some money for creditors.
But Mr Reynolds continued to claim he was owed at least £7m from the sale of GRUK to Vertex.
Last night, a spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: "Ican confirm that three men were arrested this afternoon at High Etherley in County Durham on suspicion of money laundering."
He added: "The arrests were made by an officer from the Regional Assets Recovery Team based at police HQ, Aykley Heads, Durham City.
"Hundreds of thousands of pounds were recovered from the vehicle in which the men were travelling.
"The men, one aged 68 and another aged 42 live in the Bishop Auckland area. A third 57-year-old man lives in North Yorkshire."
An application for cash seizure under the Proceeds of Crime Act is expected to be made at Darlington Magistrates Court tomorrow.