Tycoon who tried to buy Sheffield Wednesday football club guilty of stealing mobiles

THEFT: Geoffrey Sheard

THEFT: Geoffrey Sheard

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A former businessman who tried to take over Sheffield Wednesday football club seven years ago has admitted stealing parcels and selling the contents on eBay.

Geoffrey Sheard, 52, of Broad Acre, Caton, near Lancaster, was taken on as an agency worker at Parcelforce in the Preston area in July 2014.

They were worth £6,301. The phones were then sold for a total of £4,350.

However, Sheard, known in Caton for his connections to cricket, stole thousands of pounds’ worth of mobile phones between October 2014 and February 2015 and was caught flogging the 13 packages via online auction site eBay when a probe was launched, Preston Magistrates’ Court heard.

Sheard, wearing a tight navy jumper and glasses, stood in the witness box as the court was told by prosecutors: “One of the stolen phones was traced to an eBay account called Eds Beds, registered in this defendant’s name.

“EBay said it had 13 phones registered to this account.

“They were worth £6,301. The phones were then sold for a total of £4,350.”

Sheard, who pleaded guilty to theft and deception, may now face Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings, the bench heard.

He will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on August 25 and was given conditional bail.

Sheard previously hit the headlines when he was exposed for using the services of a convicted money launderer in an attempt to take over Sheffield Wednesday football club.

Sheard’s involvement with the club ground to a halt in 2008 after the Yorkshire Post newspaper revealed a bank letter sent to the club, claiming 100 million euros was available for investment, was produced by USA financier Richard Frank Downes, previously jailed for money laundering. Sheard was later declared bankrupt.