Mike Ashley’s Chief Executive at Sports Direct, Dave Forsey, has been charged with a criminal offence in relation to the collapse of its fashion retailer USC.

Forsey is accused of failure to notify authorities of plans to lay off warehouse staff, around 200 of them given just 15 minutes notice by the USC administrator in January, that they were losing their jobs.

Dave Forsey  is scheduled to appear at Chesterfield magistrates’ court next week.

The UK Insolvency Service released this statement:

“We can confirm that criminal proceedings have been commenced against David Michael Forsey. He is charged with an offence contrary to section 194 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

“The investigation into the conduct of the directors is ongoing. The inquiries are at an early stage and given the criminal proceedings it is not possible nor would it be appropriate to comment any further.”

Dave Forsey’s court appearance follows Mike Ashley and Sports Direct being slated for ‘disgraceful and unlawful employment practices’ after 50 of the former USC employees were awarded compensation this week.

In January, West Coast Capital (USC), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sports Direct, entered a ‘pre-pack’ administration, the business shedding some staff and debts, then immediately bought back by another division of Sports Direct.

The Trade Union Act says that an employer must give 30 days’ notice to the secretary of state of proposals to make 20 or more staff redundant, or 90 days for 100 or more staff.

What a glorious picture it sends out to the TV audience, Newcastle United’s name tied so closely to the likes of Sports Direct and Wonga.