Redbus Interhouse founder Cliff Stanford was today charged with conspiracy to blackmail and computer crime offences by officers of the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.
Belgium resident Stanford, 49, is jointly accused with George Nelson Liddell, 45, of Nether Winchendon, Buckinghamshire with blackmail and interception of communications contrary to the RIPA Act 2000. Liddell was charged by police on 29 January following accusations that the London-based hosting firm's email systems were hacked into.
Both men have been bailed to appear at Bow Street Magistrates Court on March 2 when they will have an opportunity to enter a plea in the case.
Stanford co-founded Redbus Interhouse in 1999 but resigned in 2002, along with two other directors, following a boardroom row with John Porter, Redbus Interhouse's then chairman. Two subsequent attempts by Stanford to oust the board failed, and he recently sold his stake in the company.
Stanford is a high-profile and charismatic figure in the UK Internet business. He used the £33 million he obtained from the sale of Demon Internet in 1998 to establish investment outfit the Redbus Group, which funded the establishment of Redbus Interhouse and a number of other businesses. ®