Ex- JJB boss forged bank statement, court told

THE former executive chairman of the now defunct JJB Sports chain, Sir David Jones, forged a bank statement to disguise the fact he had borrowed £1.5m from another well-known retail figure, prosecutors have told a jury.

Jones borrowed the cash from JJB founder Dave Whelan at a time when he was heavily in debt “possibly due to gambling”, Leeds Crown Court has heard.

Prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said Jones lied about both loans to the board of JJB Sports and, as result, the company put out misleading statements at a time when they were trying to raise £100m on the financial markets.

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Miss Moore said the businessman forged a bank statement with the help of his son, Stuart, who is also on trial, in October 2009.

This, she was when newspapers were about to run a story suggesting Mr Whelan had paid £1.5m to Sir David in relation to a deal Mr Whelan had done to take over gyms from JJB. She said in response Sir David produced a bank statement of his own which made no mention of this transaction.

Miss Moore said: “It was a forgery. It was a very good forgery. It fooled absolutely everyone.”

Jones, of Ilkley, denies two charges of making a misleading statement and one of using a false instrument, contrary to the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

His son, 39, of Bingley, denies aiding and abetting his father’s use of a false instrument.