A South West egg producer is facing jail after admitting conning his customers into buying eggs incorrectly classified as free range.
James Gigg, from Yetminster, Dorset, admitted to a fraud originally estimated at about £230,000.
But on Monday (18 June) Taunton Crown Court was told the fraud’s final value had to be determined before the 41-year old could be sentenced.
See also: A guide to good egg marketing
Mr Gigg previously admitted three offences, which can carry a three-year jail term.
One was that between November 2015 and January 2017 he made a false representation, selling eggs to the Traditional Free Range Egg Company which were incorrectly classed as free range.
He also admitted furnishing false information in relation to egg production records and sales, which did not reflect the actual figures achieved.
And he pleaded guilty to marketing eggs as “class A free range” from 5,500 hens in house one and 8,500 hens in house two, when the maximum permitted number of hens in each house was 4,000 and 6,500 respectively.
At Taunton Crown Court, judge David Evans was told the £230,000 figure was based on the premise all these eggs were effectively sold illegally.
But Mr Grigg’s lawyers said the farmer strenuously disputes the financial gains he has made, pointing out £230,000 was the gross turnover of his farm, not the profit from the eggs.
His defence team argued the value of the fraud was £86,700.
Judge Evans told Mr Gigg he could not sentence him on “a mistaken basis” and the “value of the fraud has to be decided” before sentencing next month.
Source link https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/crime/farmer-faces-jail-for-fraudulent-sale-of-free-range-eggs