A former Sainsbury’s buyer has appeared in court accused of receiving corrupt payments totalling £4.9m from a potato supplier.

John Maylam received payments from supplier Greenvale AP in return for a £40m contract to supply the grocer.

Maylam enjoyed a £350,000 holiday to the Monaco Grand Prix, spent £200,000 at London’s Claridge’s hotel and received cash in a Luxembourg bank account named The Fund.

The court heard executives at Greenvale transferred £8.7m into a dedicated account called The Fund, out of which they paid Maylam £4.9m.

Maylam has pleaded guilty to corruption by accepting gifts from Greenvale directors and prosecutor Paul Ozin said the case concerned corruption “on a massive scale”.

Greenvale’s account manager David Baxter pleaded guilty to corruptly giving Maylam gifts and consideration.

Both men will be sentenced after the trial of Greenvale finance director Andrew Behagg who denies corruption and claims he was the victim of “extortion” by Maylam.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.