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Gillingham FC's former vice chairman Michael Anderson says he is owed £900,000

By Nicola Jordan

Gillingham FC’s former vice chairman is seeking £900,000 from the club.

Michael Anderson has filed papers with the High Court, claiming he is owed repayment for loans and interest.

The move comes after the 64-year-old left his role at Priestfield in September following news he had been charged with fraud offences in Florida.

Former vice-chairman Michael Anderson, right, next to Gillingham chairman Paul Scally
Former vice-chairman Michael Anderson, right, next to Gillingham chairman Paul Scally

The businessman, who says he is innocent of any crimes, could face up to 60 years in a US jail if found guilty.

Gills chairman Paul Scally says the claim is in the hands of lawyers who are preparing a defence.

He said: “This is not a straightforward situation. Mr Anderson injected monies into the club and was, for a time, the club’s vice-chairman.

“He has been charged with healthcare fraud in the US.

“He is accused of defrauding the Department of Defence out of $5.7 million.

“As a result of the allegations against him, Mr Anderson stood down as vice-chairman pending the outcome of the proceedings.

“In the interim, he has chosen to issue court proceedings against the club for the return of monies he has injected into the club.”

"This is not a straightforward situation" - Gills chairman Paul Scally

According to accounts, Mr Anderson invested £400,000 directly into the League One outfit.

And he is believed to have put a further £600,000 in a connected company – Three Directors Limited – which holds the assets to the stadium.

It is understood if the West Malling resident is found guilty, the club could be approached to pay more than £1 million to the US government.

UK courts could be asked to freeze its bank accounts while it’s established whether any cash from the alleged scam was invested in Gillingham.

Mr Scally, however, previously played down the chances of this happening.

Mr Anderson is accused of extracting money from a US Government military health care scheme for veterans by creating false prescriptions and submitting fraudulent reimbursement claims.

Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium
Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium

Speaking from his £3 million home this week, he said he was still waiting to hear from the district attorney’s office in Florida after being charged last June.

He has denied netting at least $5,792,210 (£4,469,703) between June 2014 and December 2015.

He also faces two counts of laundering a total of $650,000 (£501,466) from a US bank account to another one in Dubai.

He said: “I don’t know what’s happening but I have been told through my lawyers that they are not interested in me over there.

“Others I worked with were arrested a year beforehand and are in prison.

“It’s no good going off on a tangent. When I have something concrete to say, you will be the first to know. It’s very frustrating.”

He refused to be drawn on his claim against the Gills.

He was appointed a Gills director in 2009 and was vice chairman for three years.

Yesterday morning, American authorities revealed the case has transferred from the district attorney’s office in Florida to the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) in Washington.

OPA deputy director Wyn Hornbuckle said: “The indictment in this case is in place.

“The case is ongoing and remains pending prosecution.”

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