Former JJB Sports executives are facing the scrutiny of the Serious Organised Crime Agency and HM Revenue, piling more pressure on the sports retailer that is already under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading and the Serious Fraud Office.
JJB Sports revealed yesterday that it is “assisting a number of regulatory authorities….[including] the Serious Organised Crime Agency regarding a number of inquiries regarding actions of certain members of the former executive management team”.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency normally investigates serious crimes such as drug trafficking and money laundering. It also has a fraud unit.
The retailer also revealed it has begun internal investigations into an apparent lack of due diligence conducted by former employees prior to the acquisition of Sports Direct’s shoe chains OSC and Qube.
In a prospectus released by JJB Sports yesterday for the retailer’s £100m rights issue, the various bodies are looking into a variety of areas, including:
- former boss Chris Ronnie’s transfer of shares to Icelandic bank Kaupthing’s administrators;
- suspected fraudulent expense claims; possible theft of company assets; and
- the release of information to the market before JJB Sports released its interim results in September 2008.
Ronnie has denied any wrong-doing.