At a trial preparation hearing at Southwark crown court today (7 November), a date was set for spring 2026 for the trial of Patisserie Valerie’s former chief financial officer Christopher Marsh and his wife Louise Marsh, as well as financial controller Pritesh Mistry, and financial consultant Nileshkumar Lad.
All have been accused of defrauding the company’s shareholders and creditors between October 2015 and October 2018 on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
None of the defendants were asked to enter any pleas today and all four were granted conditional bail.
The SFO brought the charges against the four individuals, who oversaw the financial failure of a chain of almost 200 high street bakeries. It opened an investigation into the conduct, codenamed ‘Operation Venom’, in October 2018, two days after the company abruptly suspended trading, closing 70 stores.
The SFO says it expects to have to go through around 3 million documents in relation to the case.
The trial is expected to begin on 2 March 2026 and last for 13 weeks.