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Northamptonshire couple face extradition to USA over employment dispute

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A couple from Northamptonshire are facing extradition to the US over an employment dispute.

The removal from the Uk of Paul and Sandra Dunham, who live in the south of the county, is being sought by the US Department of Justice.

However, the pair claim it should never have become a criminal case.

Their appeal will be heard at London’s High Court on February 6.

Until 2010, Mr Sunham was chief executive, president and 20 per cent shareholder of PACE, a US company manufacturing soldering irons for the electronics industry.

Eric Siegel, the son of PACE founder, the late William Siegel, is pursuing the pair over alleged improperly claimed expenses arising from their relocation from the UK to Maryland.

The Dunhams reject the allegations, claiming all expense payments they received were properly accounted for and approved by Mr Siegel personally, as well as the company’s finance director, and were also subject to the external auditors’ scrutiny on an annual basis.

However, an untested criminal complaint filed in Maryland has caused the couple personal bankruptcy and mental distress.

Mr Dunham said: “I never once believed we could be embroiled in such a Kafka-esque nightmare with no money to properly defend ourselves.

“I’ve written to David Cameron and Theresa May, neither of whom have bothered to respond to me. “In opposition they recognised the failings in the Extradition Act but, in power, are making matters worse by trying to prevent defendants’ automatic right of appeal.

“I spent 30 years working hard, thankfully with the unfailing support of Sandra.

“Yet look at us today. She and I are law-abiding citizens brought to our knees by our inability to fight these vindictive charges.

“We have now lost everything but our liberty – and even that will be taken away if we’re extradited.

“So much for innocence before proven guilty.”

The Dunhams are being supported by South Northamptonshire MP Angela Leadsom who has written to the Home Secretary highlighting her concerns.

Michael Evans, of Kaim Todner, the Dunhams’ solicitor, said: “This sad case is another example of the devastating effect of extradition on the lives of ordinary citizens.

“Neither the French nor the Israelis will extradite their citizens to the US.

“The Irish wont extradite if they can prosecute domestically.

“Britain should look to renegotiate with the US, to reintroduce some basic fairness rather than trying to limit the right of appeal against unfair and unnecessary forced extraditions.”

 

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