Files on up to 30 suspects in Sixfields missing millions investigation could be sent to prosecutors

Files on 30 people are being prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service as part of Operation Tuckhill.
Files on 30 people are being prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service as part of Operation Tuckhill.

Detectives investigating the missing £10.25 million loan given to Northampton Town are now preparing files on 30 possible suspects, the Chronicle & Echo has learned.

Between 2013 and 2014, Northampton Borough Council loaned The Cobblers £10.25 million to develop Sixfields Stadium and kickstart a hotel development on the adjoining land.

But the East Stand was never completed and the football club failed to keep up with the regular repayments on the loan.

In November 2015 police launched a major investigation into so-called "financial irregularities" around the deal, called Operation Tuckhill.

Three years on from the day detectives were first seen removing files from Sixfields stadium, the force has now revealed some 550 witnesses and suspects have been interviewed as part of the investigation.

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police, said: "The team is currently preparing evidential packages in respect of 30 individuals for the consideration of the Crown Prosecution Service.

"In deciding whether individuals are charged with criminal offences, it is the role of the Crown Prosecution Service to assess the strength of this evidence and the public interest factors for or against prosecution.

"It is anticipated that in the near future the Crown Prosecution Service will request that certain areas of evidence are further refined and clarified prior to making the final charging decisions.”

A number of investigations have been running alongside the police probe, which is unlikely to conclude any time soon.

Auditors KPMG are still looking into how Northampton Borough Council handled its botched £12million loan to Northampton Town Football Club.

And the council is also currently waiting for a judge’s verdict on a civil court case it brought against former owners David and Tony Cardoza, and David’s wife Christina, back in July. A verdict was expected to be made at the end of September, but is still outstanding.

The authority has spent £950,000 to date to try and recover the monies.

Meanwhile, the East Stand at Sixfields still remains unfinished, partly because of a long-running dispute between the club's current owners and the borough council over the lease concerning a part of the land it sits on.

Club chairman Kelvin Thomas told the Chronicle and Echo this week: "As the chief executive of Northampton Borough Council confirmed on BBC Radio Northampton on Wednesday morning, we are currently in constructive and positive dialogue with the borough council and other stakeholders about finishing the East Stand and the wider development of the site."