* David Jones charged at Leeds Magistrates Court
* Case to go to Crown Court
* Jones chaired JJB Sports Jan. 2009 to Jan. 2010
* Jones is former boss of clothing retailer Next
LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - David Jones, one of Britain’s best-known retail bosses, has been charged with forgery and making misleading statements to the stock market when he ran the now collapsed JJB Sports business, the Serious Fraud Office said.
Jones, 70, was executive chairman of JJB Sports between January 2009 and January 2010. The firm went into administration in October last year.
In a statement on Friday the SFO said Jones was charged at Leeds Magistrates Court, northern England, with two offences of making a misleading statement and one offence “of using a false instrument.”
The SFO said Stuart Jones, the 38-year-old son of David Jones who was JJB’s head of marketing in 2009, was charged with one offence of “aiding and abetting David Jones’s use of a false instrument.”
Both men were released on unconditional bail and proceedings were transferred to the Crown Court for April 19.
Jones is also a former chief executive of Next, Britain’s second largest clothing retailer.
He became chairman of JJB in January 2009 and instigated a rescue plan for the struggling firm.
But he stepped down a year later to continue his long-running battle against Parkinson’s Disease. He has suffered from the debilitating neurodegenerative disease since 1982.
The SFO said Friday’s charges follow the discovery of material during enquiries related to criminal proceedings against Christopher Ronnie, a former chief executive of JJB.
Ronnie and former JJB supplier David Ball are scheduled to go to trial at Southwark Crown Court on Sept. 9 on charges relating to a 1 million pounds ($1.57 million) fraud.