Half of the proceeds of sale from the former Northampton Town chairman’s £1.2 million house will have to be kept by solicitors as part of ongoing legal action, a court ruling has declared today.
Northampton Borough Council imposed an interim injunction preventing David Cardoza, his wife Christina and his father Anthony from selling Cheriton, in Golf Lane Church Brampton in April.
But today judge Simon Barker QC imposed an indefinite order allowing the house to be sold to an interested bidder for a minimum of £1.2 million, providing that half of the sale is kept in a “solicitor’s account” until further notice.
The borough council is seeking to recover the £10.25 million it loaned to Northampton Town Football Club throughout 2013 and 2014, when David Cardoza was chairman, through legal means.
The injunction imposed today would mean that half of the house sale proceeds is kept by solicitors to ensure money is accessible, should the council’s legal case be successful.
Speaking in the High Court in Birmingham today, barrister for the borough council, James Morgan, said: “It is agreed this is not with a view to inhibit a sale but that the proceeds of sale are identified and reserved.
“It is now agreed that half of the sale will be released to Christina Cardoza come what may.”
David Cardoza’s wife Christina is currently the sole owner of the property and is not part of the council’s wider legal action.
Cheriton, a six bedroom house in the process of being developed, had previously been in both her and David Cardoza’s name until July 2015, the court heard.
The order today will allow the “retained” 50 per cent of the sale to be used to buy a new property by the Cardozas, but they would not be able to sell on any new purchase.
David and Christina Cardoza appeared in court today, but did not speak as part of the proceedings.
David Cardoza’s father, Anthony, who had the second largest share in the Cobblers until November last year, was not in court however.
Mr Morgan said the council had been unable to serve Anthony Cardoza court papers as they could not find an address for him.
“The position is simple,” he said.”We weren’t able to identify a residential address, only a Companies House address.”
It was agreed that Anthony Cardoza could be served papers and a noticed of the order made today at the address in France where he is currently staying.
However Mr Morgan said it was not clear whether Anthony was “domiciled there”.
The order also prevents any parties involved in the case from disclosing the location of any new property the Cardozas buy to a “third party.”
Counsel for the Cardozas Emma Edhem, said this was “because Mr Cardoza is a very high profile individual, there is a possibility of some mad fans who might try and attend the address.”
She added this would be to stop “any mad person, or rather any person, who has any ulterior motive to go to that address.”
A Northampton Borough Council spokesman said:
“We have reached an agreement about the proceeds of the sale of the house that protects the interests of the Borough Council and the taxpayer. We are satisfied with the agreement reached today, which is part of our continuing efforts to find out what happened to the loan made to Northampton town football club – of which David and Anthony Cardoza were directors - and to recover the public money that has not been repaid.”