THE former chief executive of JJB Sports has been jailed for four years for pocketing £1 million in a “very greedy” fraud.
Christopher Ronnie, 52, was £11 million in debt to an Icelandic bank when he took money from two suppliers to the sportswear giant.
The Scottish tycoon used some of the cash to splash out on property in the “Sunshine State” of Florida in America.
But when the troubled Icelandic bank tried to recover its cash, Ronnie lied about his assets and liabilities, Southwark Crown Court in London heard.
The charismatic businessman was found guilty last month of fraud over three six-figure cash payments when he was at the helm of JJB Sports in 2008.
Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said Ronnie had emb
The judge said Ronnie had tried to bat off the allegations, telling police it was part of a “witch-hunt” against him.
The judge added: “I’m unable to see any sign of remorse or even embarrassment about what you have done.
“This was a flagrant and disgraceful breach of your duty as a CEO of a public limited company.
“This was a particularly vulnerable period in the company’s history prior to its collapse.”
Business partners David Ball and David Barrington - who worked for the firms which made the loans - were sentenced to 18 months in prison each for helping Ronnie cover his tracks. All three must serve at least half their sentence.
The suited trio all looked relaxed and stared straight ahead with passive expressions as the sentences were read out.
The case against the three men cost the British taxpayer £630,000 - £500,000 on Ronnie’s case alone.