Three face trial over Kings Science Academy fraud allegations

Sajid Hussain Raza at the Kings Science Academy.
Sajid Hussain Raza at the Kings Science Academy.
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The founder and former principal of a flagship free school and the former director of finance have denied charges of fraud by paying money intended for the academy into personal bank accounts.

Sajid Hussain Raza, 42, and Daud Khan, 44, pleaded not guilty to a number of offences relating to their involvement at the former Kings Science Academy in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

The former Kings Science Academy, now called Dixons Kings, in  Northside, Bradford. Photo James Hardisty.

The former Kings Science Academy, now called Dixons Kings, in Northside, Bradford. Photo James Hardisty.

They will go on trial with a third defendant, Shabana Hussain, at Leeds Crown Court in June 2016.

All three defendants are accused of abusing their positions as officers of the Kings Science Academy between April and August 2011 by making a series of unauthorised and unlawful payments into the personal bank accounts of Hussain Raza and Hussain from a grant provided to the school by the Department for Education.

Hussain Raza, of Spring Garden Roads, Bradford, is charged with abusing his position between November 2010 and March 2011 by making a series of payments into his personal bank account from another grant.

Khan, of Thornhill Place, Thornbury, and Hussain Raza are also accused of making a series of payments into Hussain Raza’s personal bank account between September 2011 and December 2013 from the school’s bank account.

The two men are also charged with falsifying a series of documents between April 2011 and December 2011, including invoices for rent, invoices for heads of department and invoices for recruitment services, which were submitted to the Department for Education for payment.

Hussain, 39, of Wilmer Road, Bradford, is charged with a separate count of acquiring criminal property by money laundering between November 2010 and March 2011, when she is accused of acquiring a series of credits into a bank account, knowing or suspecting the money to be a benefit from crime.

She pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing and did not appear in court today.

Hussain Raza is also accused of false information about his income and employment on two mortgage application forms to get money transfers of £93,000 and £144,410 in 2004. He is also charged with giving false information to a mortgage broker.

The academy was one of the first free schools to open in September 2011. It was set up by Hussain Raza and praised by Prime Minister David Cameron on his visit in March 2012.

The Kings Science Academy has since become part of the Dixons Academies Trust and is now called Dixons Kings Academy.