Football: Xamax's Chechen boss being sued for forgery, fraud
The Chechen boss of Swiss football club Neuchatel Xamax, Bulat Chagaev, is being sued for forgery and attempted fraud, the lawyer who lodged the criminal complaint told AFP Tuesday.
"We sent our complaint on Monday to the Neuchatel judge," said Vincent Solari, the lawyer representing one of Xamax's creditors, Ralph Isenegger.
The complaint was filed after media reports emerged that Chagaev had submitted a falsified document to prove his solvency during a bankruptcy claim filed by Isenegger.
Swiss justice had also raided Chagaev's offices after doubts arose over the authenticity of the Bank of America document, Swiss newspaper Le Temps reported.
A spokesman from the justice department confirmed the search, saying that "two prosecutors of Geneva, Jean-Bernard Schmid and Yves Bertossa had carried out raids on Monday morning."
Le Temps also quoted Schmid saying that "some documents" were taken by officials during the raid.
Chagaev owns four companies in Geneva that deal in commodities trading and property.
According to Radio Suisse Romande and newspaper Le Matin Dimanche, the signature on the Bank of America document certifying that Chagaev held $35 million in the bank is not known to anyone in the financial institution.
In addition, the poor English used on the document, as well as details such as Chagaev's address in French, an unrecognised stamp of the bank and an obsolete address of the bank, all raised doubts about the letter's authenticity.
Chagaev's ownership of Xamax has been controversial in Switzerland. Earlier this season the Chechen sacked the entire coaching staff after the side lost 2-0 to Basel, prompting players to speak out claiming they feared for their lives.
Most recently, the Swiss Football League fined the club 20,000 francs (16,440 euros) for flouting licencing rules, after they failed to respond to queries over its budget.
League chiefs revealed that another probe was ongoing against the club as it has failed to show proof of social security payments, including pension and unemployment insurances, for August.
The league also warned that a third investigation can be opened if the club does not confirm within the next five days that it has paid September salaries and social security contributions as well as third quarter accident insurances.
A Neuchatel ruled on November 2 against Isenegger's bankruptcy claim against Xamax, with the judge saying that "a letter explaining why will be addressed to all concerned parties in the coming days."
© 2011 AFP