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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 14:02 GMT
Football scam bank staff jailed
Paul Sherwood
Paul Sherwood was a cashier at the Co-op bank in the city centre
Two bank workers who stole from the accounts of three Manchester City footballers have been jailed.

Paul Sherwood, 26, and his 20-year-old supervisor Paul Hanley made a series of withdrawals from the Co-op Bank.

The pair diverted about 320,000 from the accounts of Djamel Belmadi, Daniel Van Buyten and Vincente Vuoso.

At Manchester Crown Court, Sherwood, of Simister Green, Prestwich, was jailed for 32 months. Hanley, of Whitworth Street, Manchester, for 20 months.

Hanley will serve his sentence in a young offenders' institute.

The pair persuaded two 21-year-old friends - Lewis Chadwick and Zac Smith - to let them use their bank accounts to launder the stolen cash.

All of the players were at the club for a short time, went overseas and did not use the accounts for day-to-day purposes, and therefore would not check the balance
Stephen Johnson QC

Chadwick, also of Whitworth Street, was sentenced to 200 hours' community punishment and a 5,000 fine.

Smith, from Woodcock Grove in Glossop, Derbyshire, was given a community punishment order, fined 460 and ordered to pay 500 costs.

Sentencing the men, who admitted multiple theft charges, Judge Martin Steiger QC told Sherwood and Hanley they had committed a "gross breach of trust".

The court heard that Sherwood was the mastermind behind the scam and recruited his own boss, Hanley.

The cash was stolen between December 2002 and February 2005 from accounts left open by the players after they moved from the UK.

Internal audit

Steven Johnson QC, prosecuting, said that Manchester City had an arrangement to pay foreign players' wages into the Balloon Street branch.

"The prosecution say that it is significant that all of the players were at the club for a short time, went overseas and did not use the accounts for day-to-day purposes, and therefore would not check the balance," he added.

"There were in those accounts significant amounts of money."

Hanley recruited his friend and flatmate Chadwick to help him hide the cash.

More than 60,000 was siphoned through Chadwick's account, for which he was paid 14,000.

The fourth man, Smith, also had money passed through his account as part of the scam, but was only paid 60. Smith worked in the finance sector of the CIS Bank.


Sherwood gambled most of his cash away, while Hanley and Chadwick rented executive apartments in Manchester and went on exotic holidays, the court heard.

The missing money was uncovered during an internal audit.

Det Sgt Neil Bruffell said that Sherwood and Hanley "exploited their positions of trust to satisfy their own greed".

He added: "All four men arrogantly thought they wouldn't get caught."

Bank staff stole from footballers
04 Jan 06 |  Manchester

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