Sep 1st, 2017
Mike Ashley sues over £3m golf course investment
That never actually happened
Mike Ashley is in another court–room dust up, and this time it is over a golf course.
Ashley claims his former “trusted friend” Tony Jimenez, who worked for him at Newcastle United until 2008, got him to put in £3m to a fraudulent investment in a French golf course.
Mike Ashley is now seeking £3m-plus interest of £800,000 from his former employee and friend.
Ashley states that in May 2008 he agreed to pay Jimenez £3m, which would be invested in the Loire–based golf course Les Bordes in return for a 5% “or thereabouts” stake in the course.
In 2013 Ashley became aware of a claim brought by footballer Dennis Wise over a £500,000 investment in the same golf course.
The judge ordered Jimenez to pay Wise compensation of that sum saying that he had been “guilty of considerable obfuscation” concerning the money paid to him.
Ashley’s claim says he made inquiries that led to his lawyers receiving confirmation that neither he or Jimenez’s South Horizon were, or had ever been, investors in Les Bordes’ Cyprus–based holding company.
When confronted with that evidence, Jimenez claimed Ashley had been too late in sending the £3m and so had lost the opportunity to purchase the shares in Les Bordes. It was allegedly said that Ashley had agreed the sum would not be returned but used as an advance payment of a fee claimed to be owed to Jimenez for procuring a purchaser for Newcastle United.
The claim says: “Jimenez did not have any honest belief that he was entitled to the investment sum or to dispose of it,” and that the story about the fee advance was “no more than a dishonest attempt to justify and explain the wrongful disposal and/or misapplication of Mr Ashley’s money”.