London

Olympic stadium 'fraud': Three men in court

The Olympic Stadium
Image caption The men are accused of posing as public figures to secure confidential information

Three men accused of spying during the bid for the Olympic stadium in east London have appeared in court.

Prosecutors allege they posed as public figures to obtain confidential information as Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient and West Ham made bids.

Richard Forrest, 30, Lee Stewart, 39, and Howard Hill, 58, all deny conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

They were bailed to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 1 February.

Mr Forrest, of Furzefield, Crawley, Mr Stewart, of More Lane in Esher, and Mr Hill, of Shrigley Road South in Stockport, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Private investigators

Prosecutors claim the three men were involved in a conspiracy to get confidential information about "figures in the public eye" by pretending to be those people.

Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient and West Ham were all bidding to secure the venue in Stratford, east London.

It is claimed that Mr Hill, a former partner at accountancy firm PKF, employed private investigators to get the information while Tottenham Hotspur FC were bidding for the site.

Spurs used PKF to carry out an investigation linked to the bid, but the club has denied any involvement in the allegations.

West Ham were named as the Olympic Park Legacy Company's first choice to become tenant at the Stadium.

A deal with West Ham and Newham Council to use the stadium collapsed in October 2011 and later the government said the venue would remain in public ownership and be rented out to an anchor tenant.

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