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Sports Direct chief executive charged over USC pre-pack

Dave Forsey, the chief executive of Sports Direct, has been charged with a criminal offence relating to the controversial pre-pack administration of young fashion chain USC in January.

Stock was removed from the Dundonald warehouse on January 7, almost a week before Sports Direct appointed administrators for USC on January 13. On January 14, warehouse staff were given just 15 minutes’ notice that they were being made redundant.

At a Scottish Affairs Committee hearing on March 25, Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell said there was insufficient time for a consultation period as the decision to close the warehouse was made too soon after the chain went into administration.

The UK Insolvency Service said: “We can confirm that criminal proceedings have been commenced against David Michael Forsey.  He is charged with an offence contrary to section 194 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.  We will not be commenting until the criminal proceedings have been concluded.

“It was listed for first hearing for August 15 and adjourned administratively in the absence of the parties, to October 14 2015. [Chesterfield Magistrates Court].

“The investigation into the conduct of the directors is ongoing. The enquiries are at an early stage and given the criminal proceedings it is not possible nor would it be appropriate to comment any further.”

Yesterday, 50 of the former warehouse workers secured a protected redundancy payout equivalent to 90 days’ redundancy.

Sports Direct confirmed the charge but declined to comment.