Three Guilty In Olympic Spy Case

Three men acting on behalf of Tottenham Hotspur soccer club have been found guilty of illegally obtaining private information from Olympic officials.

Howard Hill, a former partner at accountancy firm PKF, Richard Michael Forrest and Lee Stewart pleaded guilty Nov. 8 to unlawfully obtaining personal data such as phone bills and bank statements from Olympic Park Legacy Company workers.

All three are expected to return to Inner London Crown Court for sentencing in December. In a separate case PKF was accused of unlawfully obtaining telephone records of West Ham vice chairman Karren Brady.

At the time of the offenses, Tottenham was competing for the Olympic Stadium contract with West Ham, which has since been confirmed as the new tenant.

Tottenham employed PKF to work on the club’s bid for the stadium after the 2012 Games.

Although the OPLC accused the north London club of ordering private investigators to carry out surveillance on some of its board members, Tottenham has denied being involved in any illegal activity.

“Tottenham Hotspur did not instruct PKF to engage in any unlawful activity and PKF have confirmed that they did not” the club said in a statement shortly after Hill was arrested in January 2012.

PKF issued a statement saying Hill had resigned about a month before he was arrested. Hill, a senior corporate investigator, Forrest and Stewart admitted they obtained information from the sports officials, who were involved in deciding who should move into the new stadium.

West Ham has agreed to a 99-year deal to move from its nearby Upton Park and rent the revamped £486 million ($781 million) venue starting in 2016.

The 80,000-seat stadium will be downsized to 54,000 seats and reconfigured with a new roof and retractable seats.

As the anchor tenant, West Ham will have primary of use of the stadium, although the venue will retain the running track and stage other sporting events and concerts.