Allardyce lost £60,000 in Christmas 'hampers and champers' scam

Stephen Ackerman allegedly targeted a number of players and staff at West Ham

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Allardyce gives evidence in Christmas hamper scam

Disgraced former England boss Sam Allardyce told a court on Tuesday how he was conned in a £60,000 Christmas 'hampers and champers' scam.

Allardyce, 62, said he lost thousands when his bank account was plundered using the card details he had given to buy champagne.

Stephen Ackerman, 48, is accused of attending West Ham's Chadwell Heath training ground under a false name and offering luxury goods in December 12, 2014.

He allegedly targeted a host of players and staff, including striker Andy Carroll, 27, who forked out £2,500 for bogus goods before his account was raided for a further £10,500.

Ackerman allegedly targeted a host of players and staff at West Ham, including striker Andy Carroll, 27, who forked out £2,500 for bogus goods before his account was raided for a further £10,500.

Giving evidence from his Thailand, where he is on holiday, Allardyce said: "It was an impressive display, which normally happens. Many different people come in and around Christmas."

Allardyce told jurors that his former personal assistant had his credit card and was asked to pay for the goods after he chatted to the salesman.

He described the fraudster as a "white male" who was "smartly dressed" aged around 40 mark but he could not be as sure regarding the fraudster's accent.

"I can't remember him having a huge cockney accent like many of my players at West Ham at the time,'" he added.

"I wouldn't say posh - well spoken."

When asked if he ever received his champagne and wine, the smiling coach replied: "No, I didn't."

Ackerman is alleged to have contacted Essex nightspot Club 195 owner Scott Cummings to get in touch with Hammers representatives.

The club, popular with reality as well as football stars, named it's VIP Suite after then-club captain Kevin Nolan who is said to have lost £920 in the same scam.

Former defender James Tomkins, 27, now at Crystal Palace, handed over £750 before another £30,000 disappeared in unauthorised transactions, the jury was told.

Ackerman, of Loughton, Essex, denies 17 counts of fraud and one of possessing an article for use in fraud. The trial continues.


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