Man who tried to take over Sheffield Wednesday sold stolen mobiles online

Geoffrey Sheard
Geoffrey Sheard
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A former businessman who tried to take over Sheffield Wednesday seven years ago has admitted stealing parcels and selling the contents on eBay.

Geoffrey Sheard, aged 52, attempted to take over the Owls in 2008 and even sent a letter to the club claiming he had 100 million Euros ready to invest.

But the letter was found to be from a US financier who had been jailed for money laundering, and the deal collapsed. Sheard was later declared bankrupt.

In 2014, Sheard was taken on as an agency worker at Parcelforce in Preston.

But Sheard stole thousands of pounds’ worth of mobile phones between October 2014 and February 2015 and was caught selling the packages on eBay when a probe was launched, Preston Magistrates Court heard.

The court was told by prosecutors: “One of the stolen phones was traced to an eBay account called Eds Beds, registered in this defendant’s name.

“EBay said it had 13 phones registered to this account.

“They were worth £6,301. The phones were then sold for a total of £4,350.”

Sheard pleaded guilty to theft and transfer of criminal property and may now face Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings, the court was told.

He was given conditional bail and will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on August 25.

Sheard’s approach to Sheffield Wednesday first emerged in early 2008 when a national newspaper suggested millions of pound were on hand to invest in the Owls.

But as time moved on, it became increasingly apparent the alleged investment was proving difficult to pin down.

When Sheard was confronted with the revelation that his Dominican bank letter was a fake, he insisted it had merely been drawn up to ‘get a foot in the door’ so he could begin negotiations.

However it then emerged that banks, law firms, car finance companies and even a TV installation company had obtained county court judgments against him for outstanding debt.

Despite the revelations, Mr Sheard re-emerged in 2009 as a front man for a bid to takeover Newcastle United – another bid which came to nothing.

In 2011, it emerged that Mr Sheard applied to make himself bankrupt, and a bankruptcy order was made.

The order described Mr Sheard as unemployed and living at his parents’ home.