Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield-based food boss in court over £1.1m 'fraud'

A former director of a catering firm has appeared in court charged with a £1.1m fraud against a company that collapsed with the loss of 350 jobs.

James Burdall, 48, is said to have scammed Sheffield-based Out of Town Leisure Group out of nearly £400,000.

It is also alleged he cheated Bradwell's Ice Cream out of £776,436 and Bitz and Pizza out of £18,300.

He did not enter a plea and was bailed to appear at the city's crown court on 14 June.

Burdall, who appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court, is charged with four counts of fraud by abuse of position, said to have taken place between May 2006 and June 2010.

'Corporate frauds'

According to court documents Burdall failed to "safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests" of the companies.

Siobhan Doran, prosecuting, said: "This case relates to a series of corporate frauds taking place between the dates mentioned.

"You are looking at total losses of in excess of £1m and a loss of 350 jobs".

Burdall was the company director of Out of Town Leisure Group and Bradwell's, which were both owned at the time by catering magnate Lawrence Wosskow, and Bitz and Pizza, in Kent.

When Out of Town Leisure Group went into administration in 2010 about 350 jobs were lost, including about 100 at Sheffield's Meadowhall shopping centre.

Burdall, of Cottage Lane, Sheffield, was remanded on unconditional bail ahead of his next appearance.

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