Former Leeds United managing director David Haigh has issued a vociferous denial of fraud claims levelled against him by his ex-employer and one-time Whites owner Gulf Finance House.
Haigh is starting his fourth week in custody in Dubai after being accused in a civil court case of creating almost £3m of false invoices during his time as deputy chief executive of GFH Capital, the bank’s private equity arm.
In a statement released today, however, a spokesman for the ex-United chief said his client was a victim of “oppressive” tactics.
The spokesman also said that:
*Haigh is preparing a counter-claim against GFH for a multi-million pound sum he says he is owed by the firm;
*Haigh says documents involved in the case that appear to have been signed by him may in fact bear forged signatures;
*Haigh’s bank accounts have been frozen following “false allegations” that he had been involved in money laundering.
The spokesman said: “Despite the disadvantages at which he has been put, David will continue to defend himself against all allegations and claims made against him in what he believes is an attempt to silence and discredit him.”
No criminal charges have been brought against Haigh, who was one of the men behind GFH’s purchase of Leeds in 2012.
He left his job with the firm earlier this year as Italian businessman Massimo Cellino closed in on a 75 per cent takeover of Leeds.
As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, he was arrested on May 18 after he flew to the Middle East for talks about a supposed new position with GFH.
His spokesman added today: “Although he is deeply frustrated at being held in custody for this length of time without charge, David has no quarrel with the Dubai authorities whose hand he believes has been forced by the tactics used against him.”
GFH responded to the Haigh camp’s comments by issuing its own statement.
In it, the firm said: “GFH Capital does not consider it appropriate to comment on vague and unparticularised allegations made in press announcements which Mr Haigh has not to date attempted to detail or substantiate.
“GFH Capital does however categorically deny that it or its lawyers have behaved in any way inappropriately.
“It has absolute confidence in the legal systems of both Dubai and the United Kingdom which are investigating the claims, criminal and civil, against Mr Haigh.”