Former international footballer among six charged following training company probe

Former international footballer among six charged following training company probe

An ex-Wales international footballer is one of six men facing charges following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into the activity of a defunct training company Luis Michael Training Ltd (LMT).

Mark Aizlewood (pictured above), aged 56, from Aberdare, who played for Wales 39 times between 1986 and 1994, was called before Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday (May 4).

He appeared alongside Christopher Martin, 51, from Newbury, Keith Williams, 43, from Anglesey, Paul Sugrue, 55, from Cardiff, Steven Gooding, 52, from Bridgwater, and Jack Harper, 29, from Southport.

They were charged with offences ranging from conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, to fraud and using a false instrument.

It is alleged LMT, which went into liquidation in 2011, claimed payments from several FE colleges for training and education services they did not, in fact, provide, according to the SFO.

Aizlewood, Sugrue, Martin and Williams were directors and shareholders of the firm.

Gooding and 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 an FE college was committed by Harper, through a company called FootballQualifications.com, which has also ceased trading.

It comes after FE Week reported back in December 2013 that Aizlewood, Sugrue, Williams, and Martin had been barred from directorships for up to eight years for failing to comply with apprenticeship rules with LMT.

It worked as a subcontractor for eight FE colleges including Sparsholt College and South Thames College.

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