Five held in Patisserie Valerie serious fraud probe | Business News

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Five people have been arrested as part of a fraud investigation into the Patisserie Valerie chain.

The unnamed individuals were detained as part of a joint operation with the Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and Metropolitan forces last Tuesday, it has been disclosed by the Serious Fraud Office.


Luke Johnson, Patisserie Valerie’s former chairman and a columnist for The Sunday Times, was not among those arrested, according to the newspaper.

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The chain was bought out of administration earlier this year, safeguarding nearly 2,000 jobs

Mr Johnson had previously described the revelation of alleged accounting fraud at the high street cake chain as a “nightmare parallel universe”.

The company had been put up for sale earlier this year after collapsing following the discovery of irregularities in its accounts.

A total of 70 stores were immediately closed by the administrator KPMG, leaving more than 900 staff out of work.

It was subsequently bought out of administration by an Irish private equity firm, safeguarding nearly 2,000 jobs.

The cake firm’s parent company, Patisserie Holdings, has been wrestling with the fallout of the alleged fraud since October when its shares were suspended from trading.

A SFO spokesman said: “On Tuesday 18 June, as part of a joint operation with Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and the Metropolitan police services, five individuals were arrested and interviewed in connection with the Serious Fraud Office investigation into individuals associated with Patisserie Holdings PLC.”

The fraud investigation is continuing as regulators examine oversight of the company’s accounts by audit firm Grant Thornton.

The first Patisserie Valerie opened in Soho, London in 1926.


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