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Handbag designer charged with fraud

The designer behind handbag brand Sophia Beckford has been accused of defrauding investors out of £300,000 at the Inner London Crown Court.

Sophia Beckford 2

Sophia Beckford 2

Sophia Beckford autumn 14

Elle Tyree, whose designs for the brand were shown at London Fashion Week during the autumn 14 season, allegedly told investor Churchside Estates that she had an order from a US department store chain, the London Evening Standard reports.

However, prosecutors said she arranged for the subsequent investment to be directed to her own bank account rather than the brand’s manufacturer. Only a small proportion of the money was used to fulfil an order for 14 handbags.

She is also alleged to have produced fake invoices to make the firm seem more successful than it was, to convince another investor, Corporate Commercial Collections, into handing over funding.

Tyree is charged with two counts of fraud, one between December 2015 and July 2016 and one between July and August 2016. She denies both charges.

The trial continues.

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