Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte denies fraudulent purchase

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

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Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte has gone on trial accused of a fraudulent acquisition of the club.

The 46-year-old faces two charges relating to the 2011 purchase, one of fraud and another under the Companies Act.

It is alleged Mr Whyte pretended to then Rangers owner Sir David Murray, and others, that funds were available to make all required payments to acquire a “controlling and majority stake” in the club - including clearing an £18 million bank debt, £2.8 million for the “small tax case” liability, a £1.7 million health-and-safety liability and £5 million for the playing squad.

The Crown alleges Mr Whyte had only £4 million available from two sources at the time but took out a £24 million loan from Ticketus against three years of future season ticket sales “which was held subject to an agreement or agreements being entered into between the club and Ticketus after said acquisition”.

The second charge under the Companies Act centres on the £18 million payment between Mr Whyte’s Wavetower company and Rangers to clear a Bank of Scotland debt.

Mr Whyte has pleaded not guilty to both allegations.

The 46-year-old went on trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday after a jury of eight men and seven women was selected.

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