Barnsley FC boss cleared of fraud

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Fraud allegations facing Barnsley FC owner Patrick Cryne have been dropped.

Mr Cryne, aged 62, was cleared of wrongdoing along with Stephen Graham, Timothy Whiston and John Whelan following an investigation dating back to 2006.

Britain’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, dropped the case against them after procedural problems caused the trial to grind to a halt.

An investigation by the Financial Services Authority - the FCA’s predecessor - resulted in an initial prosecution during which it was alleged the four men conspired to present a misleading picture of the health of the IT firm they were involved with at the time - iSoft - for personal gain.

Mr Graham, 49, of Knutsford in Cheshire; Mr Whiston, 45, of Lymm in Cheshire, and Mr Whelan, 46, of Cheadle Hulme in Stockport, denied a charge of conspiring to make false statements in relation to the company between 2003 and 2006.

Mr Cryne never stood trial due to ill health.

Jurors failed to reach a verdict in the case last year and a retrial was ordered.

A spokesman for the FCA said legal argument arose when old file notes dating to 2009 were disclosed to the defence, resulting in procedural problems that could not be resolved.

The jury was discharged and the FCA decided that it would not be in the public interest to pursue a second retrial.