Couple face US extradition order

The Oxford Times: Paul and Sandra Dunham outside the High Court in London Paul and Sandra Dunham outside the High Court in London

A retired British couple have been ordered to hand themselves in to police ahead of being sent to the United States to face fraud charges.

Paul and Sandra Dunham lost a High Court battle last month to block their extradition to Maryland after a request by the 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. Mrs Dunham, also 58, is accused of eight counts of fraud for allegedly aiding and abetting him.

A statement released on behalf of the couple said today : "Paul and Sandra Dunham, British grandparents from Northampton, have been told by the Met Police's extradition unit to report to Belgravia police station at 10am this Thursday, May 15, for onward transportation by the police to Heathrow where they will be handed over to US marshals and extradited to the US."

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

The charges against the couple relate to accusations that Mr Dunham over-claimed expenses from Pace, of which he was chief executive and president and a 20% shareholder. His wife is accused of aiding and abetting her husband.

The couple argue the spending was sanctioned by Pace's board and that auditors raised no objections.

At the High Court, Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Simon were asked to halt extradition on the grounds it would violate Article Eight of the Human Rights Act, which safeguards an individual's "private and family life".

The court heard that Mr Dunham had suffered a series of mini-strokes as well as mental health problems due to a high level of stress, while his wife was suffering moderate to severe depression.

But the judges ruled the couple's mental health problems were not such as to make extradition unjust or oppressive under the Extradition Act.

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