Brits seek extradition of Irishman over egg fraud

11-06-2009 | |

The British authorities want to trial an Irish egg packer for his alleged involvement in a multi-million euro fraud where eggs were falsely passed off to British consumers as free range or organic.

The Brits are seeking the surrender of Pearse Piggott on charges including conspiracy to defraud, false accounting and perverting the course of justice.
Piggott (48), who runs the egg distribution firm Pearse Piggott and Sons, was remanded in custody with consent to bail.
In a warrant seeking his surrender, it is claimed that he was involved in a scheme where eggs were misrepresented as being free range and organic, re-numbered and labelled with incorrect supplier names.
Piggot purchased eggs from Keith Owen of the firm Heart of England Eggs in England, who falsified documentation to show his firm sold a large quantity of eggs laid by caged hens to Piggott and his firm.
In return Piggott then would have supplied false invoices and statements of accounts to Owen to show that he had sold free-range or organic eggs of a similar value back to Owen’s company.
This enabled Owen to offset the invented sale of the cage eggs against the invented purchase from Piggott.
Investigation by the British authorities of Owen’s business revealed that more than 36 million eggs passed off as organic or free-range eggs came from caged hens.
Piggott was granted bail on conditions including that he sign on with local police, surrender his passport and all travel documents, live at his home address, and provide a guarantee of €10,000.