A FORMER headteacher who was knighted for services to education is accused with former colleagues of defrauding a Wembley school out of more than £2.5million.
Sir Alan Davies, who was honoured in 2000, is one of six defendants to be charged in connection with an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds at Copland Community School, a foundation school in Cecil Avenue, Wembley.
The 65-year-old and five other staff members and governors appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday accused of conspiracy to defraud Brent Council of in excess of £2.5m between April 2003 and June 2009.
It is claimed the six abused the financial controls and unlawfully devolved decisions on pay to a group of governors – Davies, former chairman of the governing body, Dr Indravadan Patel and his deputy Martin Day – without the authority or consent of the governing body.
It is alleged the six arranged for ‘excessive and inappropriate payments’ to be made of the following:
l More than £900,000 to Davies
lMore than £600,000 to deputy headteacher Dr Richard Evans
lMore than £193,000 to former bursar Columbus Udokoro
lMore than £135,000 to the former assistant bursar, Michelle McKenzie
The charge alleged the payments were ‘bonuses which were not justified or proper’ for ‘purported work’ on new school development; for working Saturdays in excess of 52 for the academic year; and additional payments to Davies, Evans and others for purportedly covering the duties of an absent senior staff member when those duties were being carried out by another.
Davies is further charged with money laundering by allegedly transferring £270,490 from a NatWest bank account to a Spanish bank account in March 2008. Davies, Udokoro and McKenzie (also known as Michelle Bishop), are charged with conspiracy to commit false accounting by falsifying the payroll and withholding staff salary details between April 2003 and June 2009.
Davies, Evans, Patel and Day are further charged with fraud by abuse of position between January 18, 2007 and June 1, 2009 by failing to safeguard the financial interests of the school.
Davies, of Grants Close, Mill Hill; Patel, 72, of Green Lane, Stanmore; Day, 57, of Evans Court, Halstead, Essex; Evans, 55, of Barnet Road, Barnet; Udokoro, 61, of Whitton Drive, Greenford, and Bishop, 52, of Shaldon Drive, Ruislip, were all given conditional bail and had their case sent to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on August 14.