GFH Capital says arrest of ex-senior exec unrelated to Leeds Utd sale

Dubai-based investment bank says police continuing to investigate embezzlement allegations against David Haigh
GFH Capital says arrest of ex-senior exec unrelated to Leeds Utd sale
By Staff writer
Mon 26 May 2014 05:32 PM

GFH Capital Limited, the Dubai-based investment bank and fully owned subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, on Monday said the arrest of a former senior executive is unrelated to the firm's recent sale of a 75 percent stake in English football club Leeds United.

In a statement, the company confirmed that its former deputy CEO, David Haigh, has been arrested in Dubai as a result of allegations of serious fraud and embezzlement.

Jinesh Patel, GFH Capital’s SEO, said: “The issues that have been referred to the Dubai and UK authorities are unrelated to GFH Capital’s relationship with Mr Massimo Cellino, the new majority owner and fellow shareholder in Leeds United, or his purchase of a 75 percent stake in the club from GFH earlier this year.”

GFH Capital said Dubai Police's investigations are ongoing, adding that it was "not appropriate" to comment in any detail on their inquiries at the moment.

"GFH Capital is confident that it has fulfilled all its duties and obligations properly in bringing the allegations against David Haigh to the attention of the appropriate authorities," the statement said.

Last week, Dubai Police said that Haigh has been referred to the Public Prosecution for trial on charges of breach of trust.

Police said GFH Capital had filed a lawsuit against Haigh for embezzling AED23.7m ($6.45m), adding that the company discovered irregularities when it conducted its annual internal accounting audit.

Haigh, who was a key player in the company's takeover of English football club Leeds United in 2012, denies all claims against him, it has been reported.

Haigh was one of the men behind GFH’s purchase of Leeds from Ken Bates in December 2012.

He became a club director and later took up the job of managing director at Elland Road in July 2013.

He resigned from his job at GFH Capital in February after Cellino bought a 75 percent stake in the club.

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