Potential Everton buyers 777 accused of fraud

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Image caption: Josh Wander (in cap) is co-owner of 777 Partners

Everton’s prospective owners 777 Partners and the firm’s co-owner Josh Wander have been accused of a “fraudulent scheme” by a lender in a civil court filing in New York.
London-based Leadenhall Capital Partners LLP and Leadenhall Life Insurance Linked Investments Fund PLC claim Wander and 777 ‘pledged’ over $350m (£279m) in assets as collateral for a credit facility agreement, but knew they “did not exist” or were “not actually owned by Wander’s entities”.
Leadenhall’s 82-page filing, which was submitted on Friday as part of its civil claim, says it is seeking to recover “millions of dollars in damages from a house of cards on the brink of collapse”.

777 Partners declined to comment when contacted by BBC Sport.
The latest development casts further doubt over whether 777 can complete a protracted takeover of the Toffees after agreeing to buy Farhad Moshiri’s 94% stake in the club last September.
The Miami-based investment firm has held discussions with a private equity firm specialising in ‘distressed debt’ as it aims to seal a deal that it is yet to be ratified by the Premier League.
The firm already owns stakes in European teams including Genoa, Sevilla, Hertha Berlin and Standard Liege, as well as Brazilian club Vasco da Gama.
777 has endured financial strife this week, eventually sending a delayed payment of £16m to Everton for day-to-day operational costs, and having an airline it owns enter voluntary administration.
Meanwhile, 777’s UK public relations advisers have stopped representing the company after saying the firm did not meet payments on fees and it remains to be seen whether they will re-engage.
Leadenhall’s US court filing stated: “Everton is the latest shiny object of Wander’s fraudulent scheme, solvency aside.
“Upon information and belief, Wander and [co-owner Steven] Pasko are operating a giant shell game at best, and an outright Ponzi scheme at worst, that takes money in from investors and lenders and shuffles it around to various money-losing alter egos in the enterprise to disguise their true financial condition.”
BBC Sport contacted Wander separately on Saturday for comment is awaiting a response.

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