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Three convicted in JJB trial

20 November, 2014 | News Releases

Three individuals were today convicted at Southwark Crown Court as part of the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into JJB Sports plc (JJB).

Christopher Ronnie, a former Chief Executive of JJB, was convicted alongside David Ball and David Barrington, who were beneficial owners of Fashion and Sport Ltd, a company that sold clothing brands and supplied stock to JJB.

The SFO’s investigation centred on Mr Ronnie’s failure to declare his interest in contracts entered into by JJB Sports with Fashion and Sport Ltd as well as attempts by Mr Ball and Mr Barrington to destroy evidence and mislead the SFO.

The total amount of money fraudulently obtained by Mr Ronnie was around £1 million.

Guilty verdicts

Mr Ronnie was convicted of:

– Three offences of fraud by failing to disclose information, contrary to S1(1) and 3 of the Fraud Act 2006, in relation to his failure to disclose interests in contracts entered into by JJB with Fashion and Sport Ltd;

– Two offences of furnishing false information, contrary to S17(1)(b) of the Theft Act 1968.

Mr Ball was convicted of:

– Two offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice, contrary to the common law, in relation to attempts to destroy digital material and to mislead the SFO when purporting to comply with notices served under S2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987.

Mr Barrington was convicted of:

– Two offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice, contrary to the common law, in relation to attempts to destroy digital material and to mislead the SFO when purporting to comply with notices served under S2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987

Mr Ball was acquitted of two offences of furnishing false information, contrary to S17(1)(b) of the Theft Act 1968. The jury were unable to agree in relation to a third count of furnishing false information, contrary to S17(1)(b) of the Theft Act 1968.

The defendants will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on 12 December 2014. All three defendants have been granted bail until then.

Notes for editors:

  1. The case was referred to the SFO by the Office of Fair Trading, now the Competition and Markets Authority, and accepted for investigation in August 2009.
  2. The SFO was assisted in its investigation by City of London Police, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority.
  3. Christopher Ronnie of Wilmslow, Cheshire is 52 years of age, David Ball of Cheam, Surrey is 54 years of age and David Barrington of Wilmslow, Cheshire is 52 years of age.
  4. Mr Ronnie was the Chief Executive of JJB between August 2007 and March 2009. Mr Ball is an accountant and joint beneficial owner of Fashion & Sport Ltd, a supplier to JJB. Mr Ball and Mr Barrington became directors of Fashion & Sport.
  5. The verdicts of the jury were unanimous in relation to those counts on which they convicted the defendants.

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