Evidence from Cardozas 'lies and half-truths' says Northampton Borough Council as legal hearing over missing millions nears end

Evidence given by David and Anthony Cardoza as part of the Sixfields missing millions trial was made of 'lies' and '˜half-truths' according to Northampton Borough Council's barrister.

Friday, 13th July 2018, 8:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:43 pm

James Morgan QC made the remarks about the former Cobblers owners on the ninth day of a trial aimed at finding out just what happened to the £10.25 million loan intended to revamp Sixfields in 2013.

The council is seeking damages and £1 million compensation because they say the Cardozas formed "grubby deals" with a set of developers to pocket millions of that loan money for themselves.

In his closing statement today Mr Morgan QC said there were holes in both David and Anthony Cardoza's testimonies when called to the stand - which differed from accounts in their witness statements.

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David Cardoza, he said, was "willing to tell lies and half-truths in his business dealing if that suited his purposes.”

Anthony Cardoza, he said: "Was generally unreliable as a witness."

He said David Cardoza, deliberately hid the fact he would have received a £300,000 payment from the council if Swindon chairman Jed McCrory had bought the club in late 2015.

He said the former chairman also claimed to have met Mr McCrory in mid-2015 when, in fact,they did not meet until later that year.

David Cardoza told the court he was not aware of the amount of money received by his father back from 1st Land - even though Mr Morgan argued it would have been ‘extraordinary’ not have known about the £2.05 million “as a director of the club.”

Both men's conduct in the witness stand was questioned by the borough council.

"As cross examination went on, Mr Cardoza became less willing to answer the questions as they came," argued Mr Morgan QC in reference to David.

"What could have been simple yes or no answers he tiptoes around."

The barrister attacked the Cardozas' claims that they were unaware payments made to them from development firm 1st Land may have come from the council loan.

"It is our submission that it is a matter of fact they (the payments) were made out of the council's money.

"I say the Cardozas knew this was the case not withstanding their protestations.”

Mr Morgan QC said that most of the payment chunks handed back to Anthony Cardoza were discussed "over the telephone.”

But he did point to one email sent to County Group on the same day the first £1.5 million instalment of the loan was received by the council.

Mr Morgan QC said the email read: "Please transfer these monies across."

Another email from a County Group employee, Mr Morgan QC said, showed concern the Cardozas were receiving "drawdown" money, which was meant to fund the stadium project.

David Cardoza's conduct as a director was also called into question by the borough council, particularly his justification of sums he received back from his football club directors loan in 2015 when it looked like the club was about to go under. A payment made to himself in the region of £50,000 came at the same time the Cobblers defaulted on loan interest repayments to the council.

On one occasion £600,000 was taken out of the club when catering firm Centreplate was owed £320,000. The council argued that money was, again, originally part of the stadium loan.

Often, Mr Morgan said, David Cardoza would use the club's chief executive James Whiting "to do his dirty work".

The hearing is set to conclude with closing arguments for the defence tomorrow.