UK football agent among three arrested as part of major police investigation into alleged FA hearing fraud

THREE men including a UK football agent have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged FA hearing fraud.

The trio were collared by the North West Regional Organised Crime unit as part of their ‘Operation Peony’ probe.

In a statement confirming the arrests, police said they were ‘in relation to an ongoing investigation into allegations of perverting the course of justice and fraud at an FA Arbitration Hearing in 2015’.

It has been alleged that phone retailer Sport Mobile, which provided devices for a large number of major figures in British sport, was able to edit bills – and either ‘invent’ or delete calls and texts.

The probe centres on allegations that an agent’s bills were altered by the addition of a number of ‘fake calls’ before the hearing in which he was in dispute with a leading player.

Sport Mobile has denied the claims.

But the police unit announced in January that the probe had uncovered evidence suggesting legal disputes in football and other sports may have been corrupted by the submission of misleading and false documents.

It is suggested that the sports bodies have been fooled into taking the documentation supplied as accurate when it has been doctored to deceive them.

Confirming the arrests of the men, who cannot be named, police said: “The men, who were arrested on Tuesday 30th March, were taken to police stations in the North West, Shropshire and Hertfordshire.

“All three men have since been released under investigation. 

“The arrests, search and interviews are the latest in a NWROCU-led investigation that has focused on allegations of doctored phone billing being used in legal proceedings.”

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