UK couple lose US extradition fight

Andover Advertiser: The US Department of Justice wants to extradite a British couple over an alleged work expenses fraud The US Department of Justice wants to extradite a British couple over an alleged work expenses fraud

A British couple have lost their High Court fight against extradition to the US over an alleged work expenses fraud.

Paul and Sandra Dunham launched their action after the US Department of Justice sought their extradition over what the couple claim is an "employment-related dispute".

Mr Dunham, 58, who was chief executive and president of Pace, a US company manufacturing soldering irons for the electronics industry, was indicted on 13 counts of fraud and money laundering by a grand jury in Greenbelt, Maryland, in December 2011, while his 57-year-old wife is accused of aiding and abetting him.

The couple, from Northampton, "vehemently reject" allegations relating to expenses claims while working in the US.

Their counsel Ben Watson had asked Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Simon to allow their claim under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which relates to private and family life.

He said the couple's lives had been "shattered" and that extradition would be disproportionate in the circumstances.

The Dunhams were not in court in London to hear the judges dismiss their case.

Mr Watson said the Dunhams were both British citizens with a long-established family life in this country. They had been married 35 years and had one son and five grandchildren aged between one and 15.

"They were in the US for a decade from 1999 to 2009 and their lives have already been shattered by the events underlying these proceedings.

"They lost their jobs and therefore the stake they had in the company in which they had worked for many years and their assets in the US including their residential home. They were declared bankrupt in this country, they lost their good standing and meaningful employment opportunities and their mental and physical health has suffered severely too.

"But what tips the balance, we say, is what awaits them in the US. There isn't a realistic prospect of bail and the facility they are most likely to be remanded to has, on the evidence, wholly inadequate medical facilities to care for Mr Dunham's mental health."

The court heard that Mr Dunham suffered a series of mini-strokes.

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