Man appears at Ballymena Court accused of falsifying accounts at top Irish League football club

Ballymena Court

A MAN has appeared in Ballymena Magistrates Court accused of falsifying accounts at an Irish League football club.

Stephen McKillop (49), of Largy Road near Ahoghill , was in the dock on Thursday.

He faces a total of eleven charges including five of ‘false accounting’ relating to Cliftonville FC and five of fraud by abuse of position at a community project in the Ahoghill area.

The defendant also faces one allegation of transferring ‘criminal property’.

The charges relate to 2013 and 2015.

The court appearance comes just days after Cliftonville, who won Irish League titles most recently in 2013 and 2014, had a dramatic 2-1 success on Tuesday night in the County Antrim Shield Final against Ballymena United.

The details of the charges are that ‘on the 21st day of March 2013, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for yourself or another or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss, abused your position as Treasurer, a position in which you were expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of Ahoghill Community Years Project’ by making an unauthorised transfer from a bank account in the sum of £2,500 to NI Water.

On the same date the allegation is that the defendant ‘dishonestly with a view to gain for yourself or another person or with intent to cause loss to another person, falsified a certain account record or document namely Director of Cliftonville Football Club Account Transactions which had been made or required for an accounting purpose…’

The third charge regarding March 21, 2013, alleges the defendant ‘dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for yourself or another or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss, abused your position as Treasurer, a position in which you were expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of Ahoghill Community Years Project, by making an unauthorised transfer from a bank account in the sum of £5,000 to Cliftonville Football Club bank account…”

On the same date, the fourth charges alleges the defendant ‘falsified a certain account record or document namely Director of Cliftonville Football Club Account Transactions which had been made or required for an accounting purpose…’

Charge Number Five relates to March 28, 2013, and accuses the defendant of abusing his position as treasurer of the Ahoghill project to transfer £5,000 to Cliftonville.

The defendant also allegedly falsified a Cliftonville account record or document on March 28, 2013.

The seventh allegation is that he abused his position at the community project to transfer £1,850 to a bank account in the name of ‘Stephen Christopher McKillop’ on June 18, 2013.

The defendant is also alleged to have ‘concealed’ a Cliftonville account record on the same date.

Relating to May 21, 2015, he is charged with abusing his position at the Ahoghill project by transferring £1,500 to a Cliftonville account and the tenth charge is that he falsified a Cliftonville account record.

The final charge refers to June 11, 2015, when it is alleged the defendant ‘transferred criminal property’.

During a Preliminary Enquiry at Ballymena Court on Thursday – the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court – a prosecution lawyer submitted that on the basis of the papers before the court there was a case to answer.

A defence lawyer had no contrary submissions.

No further details regarding the allegations were given to the court.

District Judge Nigel Broderick sent the case to Antrim Crown Court for arraignment in February and the defendant was given £500 bail with a condition that he must reside at his home address.

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