Potato firm’s fi­nance boss de­nies cor­rup­tion

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update -

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.

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