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Six people in court charged in connection with £2.7m fraud at Copland Community School in Wembley

PUBLISHED: 14:26 12 June 2012

The level of fraud allegedly committed at Copland Community School is claimed to be in the region of £2.7million

The level of fraud allegedly committed at Copland Community School is claimed to be in the region of £2.7million

Archant

Ex-senior staff members and former governors appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court

A former head teacher knighted for his services to education appeared in court today with five of his ex-colleagues charged in connection with a £2.7million fraud.

Sir Alan Davies, 65, is accused of conspiring with senior staff members and governors at Copland School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, to defraud Brent Council.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the money is said to have been paid out in improper bonuses between April 2003 and June 2009.

Davies is also accused of laundering more than £270,000 of the money by transferring it from an English to a Spanish bank account in March 2008.

He is further charged with falsifying accounts and of abusing his position by failing to safeguard the school’s financial interests.

Dr Richard Evans, 55, the former deputy head, is also accused of taking part in the conspiracy, failing to comply with his duties and helping to arrange for the bonuses to be paid.

It is also alleged he withheld information about the true extent of salaries from both the governing body and council.

According to the charge sheet Davies from Mill Hill, north London, allegedly received more than £900,000 in ‘inappropriate payments’.

Dr Evans from Barnet, Hertfordshire, is said to have obtained £600,000.

The then chairman of governors Indravadan Patel, 72, from Stanmore, Middlesex, is also accused of involvement in the scam.

He faces one charge of conspiracy to defraud and another of falsifying documents for accounting purposes.

Columbus Udokoro, 61, from Greenford, the school’s ex-bursar and Michele McKenzie, 52, from Ruislip, the school’s former human resources manager, are both accused of conspiracy to defraud and of falsifying documents for accounting purposes.

Martin Day, 57, from Halstead, Essex, the school’s ex-vice chairman of governors, faces one count of conspiracy to defraud.

The six sat side by side in the dock speaking only to confirm their names, addresses and dates of birth.

David Levy, prosecuting, told District Judge Daphne Wickham that the total value of the fraud was ‘in the region of £2.7million’.

The matter was transferred to Southwark Crown Court where the six are expected to appear on August 14.

All six have been granted bail on the condition they reside at the addresses supplied to the court.

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