Mr John Edward Morgan, an egg producer based in Mid Wales, was ordered to pay back £84,331.18 or face 12 months in jail when he appeared before Swansea Crown Court on 20th September 2017 in relation to a Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 application made by the Welsh Government.
In January of this year, Mr Morgan had previously been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, having pleaded guilty to fraud by making false representations and a further regulatory offence contrary to the Eggs and Chicks (Wales) Regulations 2010. Mr Morgan was producing free range eggs knowingly contravening regulations governing egg production by exceeding the stocking density of birds under free range status and failing to keep a record of mortality levels of poultry.
The Court also ordered Mr Morgan pay £5,000 in costs.
The purpose of confiscating proceeds of crime is to deprive offenders of the financial benefit of their criminal activity; to act as a deterrent for the commission of further offences; and to reduce the opportunities to fund further criminal enterprises.
Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs has stated: “The figure is substantial and is a stark reminder that contravention of egg marketing rules will not be tolerated. Detailed rules around the production of free range eggs are there to protect the public, to ensure confidence in consumers that free range eggs are traceable and safe to consume and are produced to the standard that they have paid for. Ultimately, the victim of a contravention of the rules is the every day consumer, which is unacceptable”.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is responsible for the inspection of registered egg producers in Wales in compliance with EC Egg Marketing Regulations 589/2008. APHA is available to give advice to egg producers or those wishing to diversify into egg production to ensure compliance is achieved. APHA maybe contacted by telephone on 03003038268 or for more information, click on the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/animal-and-plant-health-agency