Frances Ball 24 Jun 2019 11:12am

Five arrested over Patisserie Valerie probe

Five unnamed individuals have been arrested as the scandal over alleged fraud at Patisserie Valerie deepens

The arrests were made last week, as part of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into Patisserie Valerie’s collapse in 2018.

The SFO confirmed that the five people were arrested in a joint operation with London’s Metropolitan Police and police in Hertfordshire and Leicestershire.

The individuals’ identities remain unclear, as do the details of their association with the café chain.

Chris Marsh, the former finance director at the company, was arrested and released without being charged last October.

Luke Johnson, Patisserie Valerie’s former executive chairman, wrote in the Sunday Times last week, “I know I was not dishonest. I was unaware of fraud.”

In November, the Financial Reporting Council announced that it was investigating Grant Thornton’s audit of Patisserie Valerie for 2015-2017.

Over the weekend Grant Thornton announced an independent review and a £7m overhaul of its accounting operations in the UK in a bid to improve standards.

The firm said that the new measures were in response to “scrutiny of its audits of large listed companies”.