Fraudulent Welsh egg producer to pay back £84,000
Welsh Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has warned egg farmers that contravention of egg marketing rules will not be tolerated.
Ms Griffiths said detailed rules around the production of free-range eggs were there to protect the public and ensure consumer confidence that the eggs were traceable and safe to eat.
She was speaking following a recent decision by Swansea Crown Court to order Mid Wales egg producer John Edward Morgan to pay back more than £84,000 or face 12 months in jail.
Mr Morgan was appearing in relation to a Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 made by the Welsh Government.
Originally, Mr Morgan had been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, having pleaded guilty to fraud by making false representations and a further regulatory offence contrary to the Eggs and Chicks (Wales) Regulations 2010.
He was producing free-range eggs knowingly contravening regulations governing egg production by exceeding the stocking density of birds under free range status and failing to keep a record of mortality levels of poultry.
The Court also ordered Mr Morgan to pay £5,000 in costs. The purpose of confiscating proceeds of crime is to deprive offenders of the financial benefit of their criminal activity; to act as a deterrent for the commission of further offences and to reduce the opportunities to fund further criminal enterprises.
Ms Griffiths added: “Ultimately, the victim of a contravention of the rules is the everyday consumer, which is unacceptable.”
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