Six charged over fraudulent apprentice scheme

Six men have been charged in connection with fraudulent activity relating to a company offering to provide young people with football-based apprenticeship schemes.

Westminster Magistrates Court formally charged the men over claims that Luis Michael Training Ltd claimed payments from several Further Education Colleges for training and education services they did not, in fact, provide.

The men have been charged with offences ranging from conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, to fraud and using a false instrument.

Those charged are Mark Aizlewood (56, from Aberdare, Wales), Christopher Paul Martin (51, from Newbury, England), Keith Anthony Williams (43, from Anglesey, Wales), Paul Anthony Sugrue (55, from Cardiff, Wales), Steven Paul Gooding (52, from Bridgwater, England) and Jack William Harper (29, from Southport, England).


Paper trail

According to the Serious Fraud Office, “It was suspected that LMT produced false documentation, including registration papers, progress reviews and coaching examination certificates to falsely show to further education colleges and examining boards that training and apprenticeship placements had been successfully achieved and completed.

Through the colleges, LMT received payment for each apprentice enrolled and placed with an employer. The colleges were, in turn, funded through a government scheme overseen by the Skills Funding Agency. It is believed that LMT fraudulently overstated the number of students and apprenticeships that they had placed. The suspected offences include fraudulent trading, false accounting and forgery.”