21 August 2001
Milk Council sues over missing money

By Johann Tasker

THE Milk Development Council is suing a former employee to recover hundreds of thousands of pounds allegedly siphoned from its accounts.

The case brought by the Cirencester-based MDC against the unnamed former employee follows a year-long internal investigation by the organisation.

The case is expected to be heard in London court early next year. A further investigation by the Serious Fraud Squad could result in criminal charges.

MDC chief executive Kevin Bellamy said: “The police are looking through the same papers, so it looks like they are coming to the same conclusion as us.”

The MDC has an annual budget of 7.5 million. Police first started investigating the councils accounts in September last year following a tip-off.

The MDC was set up in 1995 after the break-up of the Milk Marketing Board. It employs eight staff, none of whom are under suspicion.

Funding is raised from a levy of 0.6p on every litre of milk produced by dairy farmers. The money is spent on research, development and promotion.

The council is behind the “White Stuff” advertising campaign which employs sports celebrities Chris Eubank and George Best to boost milk sales.