Ex-champ up in court; CAGE FIGHTER ACCUSED OF LYING TO CLAIM pounds 85K IN TAX CREDITS.
Byline: By KERRY WOOD
HARDENED cage fighter Ian 'The Machine' Freeman has appeared in court to face tax fraud charges.
Freeman, who has battled some of the world's most fearsome men, appeared before Consett magistrates yesterday.
He was joined his wife Angela, 33, who with him faces a charge of fraudulently claiming tax credits.
The 41-year-old, of Badger's Wood, Stanley, County Durham Coordinates:
Stanley is a former mining town in County Durham, England. Centred on a hill top between Chester-le-Street and Consett it is the second largest town of Derwentside after Consett and lies south west of Gateshead. , is accused of lying to claim more than pounds 85,000.
During the brief hearing, Freeman was represented by Ms Julien.
No pleas were entered. It is alleged the former Ultimate Fighting ultimate fighting Sports medicine A modern blood sport, in which 2 combatants battle each other without rounds or rest periods, to the finish, be it death, incapacitation, or surrender, in which one opponent is battered into submission, and signals abdication by a World champion and his wife falsely claimed tax credits of pounds 13,993.
The dad-of-three is also accused of fraudulently evading pounds 66,309 in income tax and pounds 7,781 in national insurance.
The court was yesterday told he faces a third charge of giving false salary details to secure a pounds 250,000 mortgage.
Chairman of the bench Mr Ferguson committed the cases to Durham Crown Court after magistrates declined jurisdiction at an earlier hearing in April.
HM Revenues and Customs investigators probed Freeman's finances back to 1997, but the charges against him relate to the three years leading up to his arrest last August.
Freeman was crowned World Champion in 2001, when he defeated Russian Stanislav Nashik in Austria.
His other triumphs include two British Cage Rage Championships This article or section is written like an .
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Freeman recently came out of retirement for a string of bouts in New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. .
Following yesterday's hearing, Freeman and his wife were released on unconditional bail.
They are due to appear at Durham Crown Court on July 11.
FRAUD CHARGES: Ian 'The Machine' Freeman