Three men have been convicted of fraud and acquiring criminal property relating to poultry, amounting to a loss of £318,347, and have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment.
Rana Dhaia, owner of Townsend Poultry in Wolverhampton, together with Darren Williams and Elliot Smith, both Dispatch Managers employed by 2 Sisters Food Group in Llangefni, conspired together to commit fraud.
During an audit at 2 Sisters Food Group, it came to light that Williams and Smith were supplying Townsend Poultry with chicken. Townsend Poultry was not a customer of 2 Sisters Food Group and there were no records of any deliveries. Enquiries made with local hauliers used by 2 Sisters confirmed there had been 84 deliveries from 2 Sisters to Townsend Poultry, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Williams and Smith had destroyed the records of those deliveries.
Rana Dhaia has been sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment of four years and three months.
Darren Williams has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years with a requirement to undertake 300 hours unpaid work.
Elliot Smith has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years with a requirement to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work.
Emmalyne Downing, Crown Advocate said: “The three defendants took advantage of their position within the companies to defraud 2 Sisters Food Group. Fraud cases can be complex; the Crown Prosecution Service worked closely with the Economic Crime Unit at North Wales Police and the Food Standards Agency in Wales to build a strong case against the defendants. The evidence presented resulted in all three being convicted”.
Detective Constable David Hall of the North Wales Police Economic Crime Unit said: “We welcome today’s outcome which has seen the conviction of Williams, Smith and Dhaia following work with partners from the Food Standard Agency.
“The offences that took place not only cost the 2 Sisters Food group thousands of pounds, but also could have had far-reaching implications due to traceability issues if they had not been caught.
“I’d like to thank the CPS for their involvement in this investigation which has led to today’s result.”
Andrew Quinn, Head of the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU), said: “We welcome these sentences, as this sends a strong deterrent message to those considering committing food crimes. I want to thank the CPS and North Wales police for their excellent work in securing these convictions. Together, we are stronger in the fight against food fraud and we continue to work with partners to help ensure that consumers are protected.