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Five charged in South Wales mining sites fraud case

24 January, 2013 | News Releases

Five people have today been charged with conspiracy to defraud in relation to the sale of four open-cast mining sites in South Wales.  The defendants are:

  • Eric Evans (age 67) of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
  • Alan Whiteley (age 48) of Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan
  • Frances Bodman (age 30) of Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan
  • Richard Walters (age 32) of Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan
  • Leighton Humphreys (age 38) of Cardiff, South Glamorgan

The defendants are to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 30 January.

They were charged at Cardiff Bay Police Station with conspiring to defraud Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, Powys County Council and The Coal Authority by deliberately prejudicing their ability effectively to enforce obligations to restore open cast mining sites to open countryside and/or for agricultural use.  The sites are known as East Pit, Nant Helen (Nant Gyrlais), Selar and Margam (Park Slip and Kenfig).

It is alleged that the conspiracy involved the establishment of companies in the British Virgin Islands in the ultimate beneficial ownership of Eric Evans and David Alan Whiteley and that the freehold title in the four sites was intended to transfer from Celtic Energy to the BVI companies, thus releasing provisions made in Celtic Energy’s annual accounts in respect of financial liability to restore the sites and that this was done for the benefit of the conspirators.  

Notes for editors:

  1. The case was accepted for investigation by the Serious Fraud Office in January 2011.
  2. As proceedings are now underway, the strict liability rule in the Contempt of Court Act 1981 now applies.
  3. At the relevant time, Richard Walters and Leighton Humphreys were Directors of Celtic Energy Limited based in Caerphilly and the other three defendants were practicing solicitors.

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