Newcastle 'fail in legal battle with HMRC over 2017 investigation'

Newcastle ‘fail in lengthy legal battle to stop documents seized by HMRC in 2017 tax fraud investigation being used in civil case’… as fall-out from St James’ Park continues six years on

  • St James’ Park was raided in 2017 as part of a tax fraud investigation by HMRC
  • It has now been claimed Newcastle have failed in a bid to stop material from that raid being used as part of the alleged multi-million-pound tax scandal
  • If Steve Cooper goes, he’ll be sacked with honour and walk into another top job – Listen to why on It’s All Kicking Off 

Newcastle United’s bid to stop material seized in a 2017 raid of St James’ Park being used by HM Revenue & Customs as part of an investigation into an alleged multi-million-pound tax scandal has reportedly failed.

The Telegraph report that Newcastle went to court to challenge the legality of the 2017 raid, which took place on the same day as a raid on West Ham’s London Stadium.

Officials working on behalf of the tax office seized financial records, as well as mobile phones and office computers under the umbrella of Operation Loom.

However after a reported two-and-a-half year legal battle, Newcastle are reported to have been unsuccessful in their battle to have digital copies of seized documents given back to them by HMRC.

The Telegraph’s report details how High Court judges ruled that warrants for the 2017 raid had been ‘lawfully issued’ for HMRC’s investiagtion.

HMRC officials raided Newcastle United’s St James’ Park in 2017 amid a tax investigation

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The 2017 raids were headline news at the time and the issue surrounding them has continued to this day.

Newcastle ex-managing director Lee Charnley, former owner Mike Ashley’s main man at the club, was arrested at his home at 6am and spent 10 hours with officers before being released without charge. 

The issue made its way to Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday where the Telegraph report that HMRC told how Newcastle had ‘systemically abused’ the tax system.

They allege that Newcastle ‘secretly’ used the tax system to make payments to agents and players as they sought to close transfer deals. 

In response it is claimed that Newcastle’s argument is that there are no reasonable grounds to suggest the club committed any tax fraud. 

The criminal case into Newcastle United and West Ham concluded in 2021 but HMRC warned then that they had a ‘raft of civil powers’ at their disposal, so the case, in a. different form, would continue.  

The club have reportedly been unsuccessful in having documents seized sent back to them 

The Telegraph’s report goes on to add that it was disclosed on Wednesday in a published High Court judgement that a note sent to Newcastle during the criminal investigation highlighted ‘tax non-compliance of a serious nature’, and that ‘the matter will now be referred to colleagues elsewhere within the Fraud Investigation Service’.

The published note adds that the investigation and any appeals would now fall under the ‘banner of civil investigation’. 

Newcastle had reportedly been keen to see any documents seized in the raid as part of the criminal investigation returned and made exempt from any civil case, only for a High Court verdict to rule against them last month. 

It remains unclear how much HMRC, who started pursuing the Magpies in 2014, are still seeking from Newcastle as the case continues.


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