The chief finance director of embattled bakery chain Patisserie Valerie was arrested and has been released on bail, the company has confirmed.
On Wednesday (10 October) the company announced it had suspended CFO Chris Marsh from his role as it investigated “potentially fraudulent” accounting irregularities. It later discovered that it had received a winding up petition from HMRC over an unpaid tax bill of £1.14m. Despite the petition being publicly issued a month prior on 7 September, the company claimed to not have any knowledge of it until 10 October.
The following day on 11 October, Patisserie Valerie warned that if an “immediate injection of capital” was not received it would be forced to cease trading.
The Serious Fraud Office released a statement which said: “Following this morning’s Regulatory News Service announcement by Patisserie Holdings PLC, the SFO confirms that its director has opened a criminal investigation into an individual.
“We can give no further information or comment at this time.”
The company, which was established in 1926, has 206 stores nationwide and employs roughly 2,500 people.