Patisserie Valerie finance boss resigns amid investigation

Patisserie Valerie finance director resigns

Patisserie Valerie has parted company with its finance director, who is facing a fraud probe relating to a black hole in the company’s accounts.

Patisserie Holdings, the parent of the cake chain, said on Friday that it had accepted the resignation of chief financial officer Chris Marsh.

Mr Marsh was suspended from his role on October 9 after “significant and potentially fraudulent” irregularities were discovered in the company’s accounts.

He was then arrested on suspicion of fraud later that week, before being released on bail.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened a criminal investigation into potential fraud at the company.

Shares in the company are still suspended on London’s junior market following its brush with collapse earlier this month.

Chairman Luke Johnson was forced to loan £20 million to the company to keep it trading, while shareholders poured in another £15 million through a fundraising.

Accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers are now investigating accounting irregularities at the business.

On Wednesday the company dodged another threat as it announced that a winding-up order issued against it by the taxman was dismissed in court.

The petition was issued by HMRC against the company’s principal trading subsidiary, Stonebeach Limited, over an unpaid tax bill of more than £1 million.

But the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts dismissed the claim on Tuesday.