US extradition fight cost couple their jobs, savings and health, court told

 

The lives of a British couple who are fighting extradition to the United States over an alleged work expenses fraud have been “shattered”, the High Court has heard.

Paul and Sandra Dunham, from Northampton, 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. They “ vehemently reject” allegations relating to expenses claims while working in the US.

Today their counsel Ben Watson told Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Simon: “The Dunhams are both British citizens; UK nationals with a long established family life in this country. They have been married 35 years.. and have 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 in which they had worked for many years and their assets in the US, including their residential home... the stake they had in the company. 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.”

Mr Watson said that all these points plainly raised an important issue under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act which relates to private and family life. “But what tips the balance, we say, is what awaits them in the US... the facility they are most likely to be remanded to has... inadequate medical facilities to care for Mr Dunham’s mental health.”

Mr Dunham, who was in court with his wife, has suffered a series of mini-strokes. The couple say the first they knew about a criminal complaint was when they were arrested under an extradition request in late 2012. They say that all the expenses payments they received were properly accounted for. The judges reserved their decision to a later date.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...

Recruitment Genius: IT Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manager is for a successfu...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific