USA: LOUISE WOODWARD FUND FRAUD ALLEGATIONS

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(13 May 1999) Natural Sound

Police in England have confirmed on Thursday that they’ve arrested two people in connection with fraud allegations over a fund for the defense of Louise Woodward, the British au pair convicted of killing the baby in her care in Massachusetts two years ago.

Cheshire police, who have been investigating allegations against Ms. Woodward’s parents, would not identify the two people arrested May 6, nor reveal whether they had been charged.

However it’s understood those arrested are the parents.

Callers to the police were referred to a tape recorded statement saying only that police have continued inquiries into allegations over the running of the Louise Woodward Family Trust and that two people who were arrested have been bailed to appear again on June 1.

The Woodward’s, from Elton, Cheshire, 6 miles (10 km) north of Chester in central England, are now separated.

Louise Woodward was convicted by a Massachussets court in October 1997 of second-degree murder for the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen.

A judge later reduced the verdict to manslaughter and sentenced her to the 279 days she had served since her arrest.

She then returned home to England.

Cheshire police were working with the F-B-I in an investigation of her parents following allegations that a forged invoice was used by Mrs. Woodward to claim more than 9-thousand pounds (more than 14,000 dollars) in rent and expenses during the weeks she stayed at the home of her daughter’s lawyer, Elaine Whitfield Sharp.

Whitfield Sharp and her husband, Dan Sharp, deny charging Mrs. Woodward a penny.

They say the invoice was written on stolen letterhead.

Mrs. Woodward has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the fund, which was set up to help the family with their huge legal bills and living expenses during the trial, and the time spent in Boston awaiting the result of the appeal.

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