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WALES: Chester owner Vaughan denies fraud and theft.

Byline: By LYNDA ROUGHLEY

THE owner of Chester City FC appeared in court yesterday afternoon and denied a series of fraud and theft offences.

Stephen Vaughan, 46, pleaded not guilty to the six charges he faces at Liverpool Crown Court. He was remanded on bail to await his trial, expected to last five days, beginning on July 14.

Vaughan, of Tower Way, Woolton, Liverpool, denied obtaining a finance agreement by deception from GE Finance and stealing a Mercedes CL500 from them.

He also denied dishonestly obtaining a finance agreement by deception from Dunction No I Finance and stealing an Aston Martin DB9 from them.

Vaughan further denied two offences of obtaining motor insurance from Royal and Sun Alliance and Norwich Union by deception by saying he had no driving convictions.

The offences were allegedly committed by Vaughan, who stood down as chairman of Chester in December between March 2005 and March 2006. Last month, Vaughan who owns 77% of the club, resigned as chairman but remains owner.

He said at the time: "I considered it prudent to step back from my board position, and my day-today activity. We have a hard working staff and board of directors at Chester, and they are quite capable of handling the running of the club.

"My heart is still very much with Chester and I will continue to finance the club and give it all the support and commitment I can."

Referring to reported offers he has received for the club, Vaughan said: "I have never said that I want to sell Chester City and that's still the case."

"It is true that I have received three offers for the club, the first one offered me pounds 10 plus 10 per cent of the monies that I had put in, which by any standards is unacceptable."

"The second offer came from a sports management company, and that is being responded to by a director of Chester City who handles all my legal affairs. The third bid quite frankly was derisory, and isn't worth discussing publicly."

In his statement last month, Vaughan declared that he remained committed to the club and that it remained in safe hands.

But since his departure as chairman, fans have feared he would sell his stake but while Vaughan has admitted receiving offers, he says he will only do what is best for the League Two side.

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Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan has denied theft charges
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 12, 2008
Words:408
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