Horsemeat fraudster sentenced to prison
A businessman who was found guilty of passing horsemeat off as beef has been sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment.
According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Andronicos Sideras was sentenced at London Crown Court on Monday (31 July).
His accomplice, Ulrich Neilson of Flexi Foods, was sentenced to three years and six months, while a third man - Alex Ostler- Beech, also of Flexi Foods - received an 18-month suspended sentence.
FSA chairman Heather Hancock said: “The sentencing today is the result of an immense effort by individuals in a multi-agency investigation and, as well as the police, I’d like to highlight the key role played by local authorities in securing the conviction.
“Today’s sentences should act as a deterrent to those who think they can profit from committing food fraud.”
On several occasion Sidera, Nielsen and Ostler-Beech conspired to mix consignments of beef with horsemeat, falsely labelling it as beef and increasing their profits as a result.
Their crime was discovered after an environmental health officer visited a meat manufacturer in Newry, Northern Ireland. The officer assessed 12 pallets of meat and, of those, two pallets contained large quantities of horsemeat.
The FSA led the investigation before passing the responsibility to the City of London police in 2013.