Potato firm’s finance boss denies corruption
A FINANCE director accused of authorising bribes paid to a Sainsbury’s potato buyer told a court he thought the payments were just “over-the-top” expenses.
Andrew Behagg (60) of Chatteris, who was the finance boss of potato firm Greenvale, was a signatory on a bank account used to make payments to Sainsbury’s buyer John Maylam.
The money would be handed over in cash, in brown envelopes, and Behagg also authorised expenses made by Maylam, Croydon Crown Court heard.
Maylam would incur costs of £20,000 a month, with the money spent on expensive restaurants and top London hotels including Claridges and The Dorchester, the jury was told.
Prosecutor Paul Ozin told Behagg: “The truth... is that you knew perfectly well that these were simply corrupt payments to Mr Maylam to buy you better prices.”
Behagg, who denies corruption between 2006 and 2008, said: “I totally disagree. They were severely over-the-top entertaining and Greenvale gained nothing from it.”
Maylam (44), of Kent, who earned millions through the scheme, and Greenvale account manager David Baxter (50), of Shropshire, were arrested after the company’s external auditor was alerted. Both men have admitted corruption. The trial continues.