Bankrupt footballer sells mum’s house and vanishes
Detectives are investigating former Coventry City player Michael McIndoe, 35, who has been linked to a ponzi scheme that attracted investment from around 100 football stars including Robbie Keane and Jimmy Bullard.
The scheme promised a 20 per cent return and saw many high-profile investors lose huge sums when it collapsed.
Now the drama is moving to McIndoe’s native Edinburgh where a three-bedroom property he leased to his mother Carol was sold swiftly after he was declared bankrupt – depriving creditors of thousands of pounds.
Sighthill-born McIndoe, who was capped twice for Scotland B, was made bankrupt on October 14 with debts totalling more than £2.5 million.
But despite the insolvency, less than a fortnight later the semi-detached property in Silverknowes Eastway was sold for around £158,000, with McIndoe pocketing £13,000 profit.
This money should have been used to compensate creditors and around £6000 has been recovered from his partner Anne Fuller.
It is understood the sale went through because McIndoe’s bankruptcy status in England had not been updated on the Scottish land register.
One of the financial advisors overseeing the case, Stephen O’Hara – director of insolvency practitioners O’Hara & Co – said McIndoe had “panic sold” the property. “It was his mother’s house,” he said. “It was undervalued but he managed to sell it.”
It is understood the house in a leafy suburb of Silverknowes fetched £158,000 while similar properties in the street sold for around £185,000.
A neighbour confirmed McIndoe’s mother, understood to be in her 50s, had lived in the house until it was sold in October just weeks after it went on the market. It is not known whether McIndoe sold the house without her knowledge.
The neighbour said: “She was a lovely lady but I have know idea where she went. I never saw [McIndoe] here.”
Martin Hollis, 30, who bought a property three doors down in mid-December said he paid a “rock bottom” price of £167,000 for his home and was shocked McIndoe had sold it under value.
He said: “[My house] was valued at £188,000 but the people really needed to sell it. We paid what we thought was a good price. It’s surprising and a bit upsetting.”
Insolvency advisor Stephen O’Hara said once investigations are complete, the level of debt amassed by McIndoe could top £25m.
“We want to interview him for further information because we have no idea what the extent of the level of liabilities is,” he said. “We know of £2.5m – but it could be £25m.”
Mr O’Hara said McIndoe had been difficult to trace and is currently of “no fixed abode”.
A source close to former associates of McIndoe in Coventry and Bristol said they have not been able to contact him for months.
Mr O’Hara said the whole affair was a “car crash”.
“We have a court order to interview him on February 11 under oath but we can’t serve that on him anywhere,” he said. “He won’t tell us where he is living, we are consulting with solicitors on his behalf. It’s hard for us to ascertain how many debts there are. These footballers have given cash – hundreds of thousands.”
The alleged fraud is believed to be one of the biggest cons to hit British football.
Former Spurs and Liverpool player Keane was understood to have been persuaded to invest while ex-Hull City midfielder Bullard is reported to have signed up for I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to recoup money he lost.