Footballer’s accountant convicted

Marc Geppert, 47, cheated the former Swedish international out of his cash and blew the money in less than a week after paying off his overdrafts.

Geppert told Limpar that he used the cash to pay tax on a £180,000 transfer fee when Limpar joined Arsenal in the early nineties. Limpar paid Geppert’s bill, but the accountant then spent the money himself.

Months later, Limpar was warned by the Inland Revenue to pay up or face bankruptcy when it emerged that none of the cash had reached the taxman.

Geppert told the jury that all the money was owed to him for his hard work in helping settle Limpar’s tax bill. But Limpar, who later played at Everton, told Southwark Crown Court: ‘I was introduced to Geppert by my agent. I trusted him.’

The court was told that Limpar kept his signing-on fee in an offshore bank account thinking he was exempt from paying UK tax. But in 1994, Limpar was questioned by the Revenue and the missing tax came to light.

The accountant, who including Limpar has represented 50 professional footballers, managed to whittle down the player’s tax bill from a staggering £200,000 to a much more manageable £77,000.

But with expenses and interest, Geppert finally gave the winger a bill for £115,000, which included his £25,000 fee that Limpar had agreed to pay.

Geppert, of George Lane, South Woodford, Essex, was convicted by the jury of stealing a credit balance of £89,995 belonging to Limpar between March 19 and March 26, 1996. He maintained the money was cash owed to him for accountancy work.

Granting him bail, Recorder David Fisher, QC, said: ‘This does not mean I am not going to send you to prison. All sentencing options remain open.’

Geppert, who showed no emotion when the verdict was returned after seven hours of deliberation, will return to court on July 25 while the reports are prepared.

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