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Ex-Patisserie Valerie finance chief and three others seem in courtroom on fraud fees

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The previous chief monetary officer of collapsed café chain Patisserie Valerie appeared in courtroom on Tuesday accused of fraudulently conspiring to inflate money on the group’s stability sheet, alongside three different defendants.

Ex-CFO Christopher Marsh, 49, has been charged with dishonestly agreeing to inflate and misstate the money in Patisserie Valerie’s stability sheets between 2015 and 2018, and deceptive banks Barclays and HSBC.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Courtroom on Tuesday morning alongside together with his spouse Louise Marsh, 55, former monetary controller Pritesh Mistry, 41, and monetary advisor Nileshkumar Lad, 50.

Christopher Marsh, Lad and Mistry have every been charged with one rely of conspiracy to defraud, 5 counts of fraud by false illustration, and one rely of constructing or supplying paperwork used for fraud.

The trio is accused of constructing false statements to lenders HSBC and Barclays concerning the bakery’s money reserves earlier than it collapsed 4 years in the past and the rationale that cheques have been being stopped. Additionally they allegedly made false statements to auditor Grant Thornton, specifically that sure invoices issued between 2015 and 2018 have been real.

Christopher Marsh faces one further rely of publishing a press release “with intent to deceive members or collectors”, for his function publishing the corporate’s interim outcomes and annual accounts.

Louise Marsh, an accountant, faces a single rely of conspiracy to defraud.

The accusations relate to the monetary failure of Patisserie Valerie, a series of virtually 200 excessive road bakeries, which collapsed in 2019 after uncovering “doubtlessly fraudulent” accounting irregularities.

The UK Critical Fraud Workplace opened an investigation codenamed “Operation Venom” in October 2018, two days after the corporate suspended buying and selling and closed 70 shops. The collapse resulted in 900 job losses.

The fees weren’t learn out in courtroom and the group solely spoke to verify their names and addresses. Christopher Marsh’s barrister, Keir Monteith KC, indicated his consumer would plead not responsible to the costs. The three different defendants gave no indication of what plea they’d enter, which the choose mentioned could be taken as an intention by all to plead not responsible.

The case was despatched to Southwark Crown Courtroom for a plea and trial preparation listening to on November 7.

All 4 have been granted conditional bail, with an instruction to not contact one another, apart from Christopher and Louise Marsh, who’re married.

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