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Ex-Bolton boss Sam Allardyce and players named as victims of alleged luxury goods fraud

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

A former Bolton Wanderers manager and several ex-Whites players have been named as alleged victims of an Essex man accused of fraud.

Sam Allardyce, who was at the helm at the then-Reebok Stadium between 1999 and 2007, is one of 13 people whom, it is claimed, were defrauded by businessman Stephen Ackerman in a Harrods champagne and Fortnum and Mason hamper deal.

All of the alleged victims were connected to West Ham United FC at the time of alleged offences.

They include Neil McDonald, who played for Wanderers in the 94/95 season and was Allardyce's assistant manager at the Hammers before becoming Blackpool FC's current manager.

West Ham defender Joey O'Brien, who was with Bolton between 2004 and 2011, is another of those mentioned as is Whites legend Kevin Nolan, who left West Ham in August.

Mr Allardyce is said to have lost £270 and then a further £13,000 in "unauthorised transactions".

Mr McDonald was purportedly cheated out £60, Mr O'Brien £758 and Mr Nolan £180.

The remaining alleged victims are backroom staff at the club as well as players Andy Carroll, Aaron Creswell and James Tomkins.

Ackerman is alleged to have conned them all on a single occasion - on December 12 last year at the Premier League outfit's training ground in Chadwell Heath, east London.

He faces 13 counts of fraud by false representation in that he "took payment for goods and then failed to deliver, intending to make a gain for yourself".

The defendant, of Loughton, Essex, appeared at East London Magistrates' Court on November 6 when his case was sent for trial to Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London.

The 47-year-old will appear at the crown court on Friday (November 20) for a plea hearing and remains on conditional bail.


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