The billionaire owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle United Football Club is set to take legal action against a former business associate who he claims convinced him to hand over £3m linked to a fraudulent investment in a golf course in France.
Mike Ashley has filed papers at the High Court in London alleging that Tony Jimenez, a former Newcastle United executive, breached a contract over the scheme, the Guardian reports.
Ashley says he expected his £3m investment in 2008 to be placed in Loire-based golf course Les Bordes for which he would take a roughly 5 per cent stake in the site’s owner.
The claim alleges a “deliberate fraud” in which Jimenez kept the money for himself instead of using one of his companies to facilitate the stake in the golf course’s owner.
According to the Guardian, the claim reads: “Jimenez did not have any honest belief that he was entitled to the investment sum or to dispose of it.”