Bow Street magistrates will decide in December whether a former London
agency boss accused of swindling US taxpayers out of dollars 300,000
should be extradited to Washington to face fraud charges.
A three-day hearing due to begin on 2 December culminates a three-year
investigation of Sue Goddard by Scotland Yard detectives and FBI agents.
The probe began after the collapse of Goddard Niklas Delaney DeRoos in
1991, shortly after it was fired by the American Soybean Association -
its only client - from running its pounds 5 million UK marketing
In 1992 the association, which is partly funded by the US government,
was granted a dollars 1 million High Court judgment against the agency
and its principals following allegations that supplier invoices had been
altered. But the association, based in St Louis, Missouri, has yet to
see its money.
Now Department of Justice officials in Washington are asking the British
courts to allow Goddard to be extradited to the US in the custody of
federal marshals to face fraud charges.
Goddard has been on bail, ordered to surrender her passport and to live
at her Surrey home since the application first went before Bow Street
Court in October of last year.
But even if magistrates allow the extradition application, Goddard would
have the option of fighting the order all the way to the House of Lords,
a process that could take between a year and 18 months.
The American Soybean Association has not promoted its products in
Britain since breaking with Goddard Niklas.