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Former JJB boss Chris Ronnie to return to court

Action to claw back money stolen by jailed former JJB boss Chris Ronnie will officially begin on May 19, The Serious Fraud Office has told Drapers.

An initial mention hearing, which will set out a timeline for the confiscation order concerning around £1m in payments Ronnie pocketed from suppliers, is due to take place at Southwark Crown Court; where Ronnie was sentenced to four years in prison on December 15.

An SFO official said the aim of the confiscation order is to “claim back the proceeds of crime” and the amount imposed will be a “reflection of his benefit from criminal activities.”

Ronnie could be forced to sell assets such as property if payments cannot be made, unless he can demonstrate to the court that the assets he has are not sufficient to pay the value of confiscation order.

The government body requested permission to forensically examine Ronnie’s career as far back as his involvement with Mike Ashley’s Sports World (now Sports Direct) from 2003-2006 as new business development director before taking up his role at JJB in 2007.

Another hearing has been arranged for July 13, with a ruling expected in the immediate days following.

David Ball and David Barrington, who were both sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to repay a joint £80,000 towards prosecution costs for their part in the fraud, will not be pursued in the case.

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