Kings Science Academy trio to face fraud trial next year

Sajid Raza.
Sajid Raza.
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THE founder and former principal of a flagship free school and two former staff members will go on trial next year accused of fraud.

Sajid Hussain Raza, 42, former head of department Shabana Hussain, 38, and former director of finance Daud Khan, 43, will go on trial in June 2016 charged with a number of offences relating to their involvement at Kings Science Academy in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Former principal Raza was arrested last year following an investigation into the school, which was visited by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012.

He is charged with three offences of fraud by abuse of position, three offences of false accounting, two offences of obtaining a money transfer by deception, and one offence of fraud by false representation.

Hussain is charged with one offence of fraud by abuse of position and one offence of acquiring criminal property.

Khan is charged with two offences of fraud by abuse of position and three offences of false accounting.

Raza and Khan appeared for a brief hearing at Leeds Crown Court today. Hussain did not attend.

The court heard that the trial will last for around six weeks.

No pleas were entered during the hearing this morning. The charges relate to financial matters at the school.

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 Raza and Hussain from a grant provided to the school by the Department for Education.

Raza 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 and Raza are also accused of making a series of payments into 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 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.

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 Mr Raza and praised by Mr Cameron on his visit in March 2012.

Raza, of Spring Gardens Road, Bradford, Hussain, of Wilmer Road, Bradford, and Khan, of Thornhill Place, Thornbury, will appear at Leeds Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on August 14.