Ex-Latics chief jailed for fraud

Date published: 25 June 2013

FORMER Latics chairman Chris Moore has been jailed for 30 months and fined £100,000 for a string of fraud offences at a software firm that went bust seven years ago.

Moore, who was executive chairman at Torex, plunged the business into a string of debt-fuelled acquisitions leaving it struggling by mid-2006.

The Oxfordshire-based firm supplied touch-screen till software to high street chains such as Argos and McDonalds.

Moore (56) admitted involvement in a conspiracy with Torex’s former chairman and the group’s largest shareholder, Rob Loosemore, designed to falsely inflate the group’s profits and cash position.

Torex company executive Mark Woodbridge was jailed for three years and 10 months and fined £170,000 after being found guilty following a trial at Oxford Crown Court. Nigel Horn, who was tried alongside Woodbridge, was acquitted.

Torex, which was listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange, went into administration in 2007 following suspension of share trading in January that year.

An investigation then began and searches carried out, resulting in the quartet being charged in May 2011. Moore and Loosemore pleaded guilty in January this year, the sentences being withheld until the trial ended.

Moore took control of Oldham Athletic in 2001, pledging to take the club into the Premiership in five years. He stepped down as chairman in 2003, leaving the club in financial difficulty and sold his stake to the “Three Amigos”— Simon Blitz, Simon Corney and Danny Gazal — in 2004.