20 May 2022

BrewDog CEO brings prosecution against a woman for fraud

United Kingdom | BrewDog is making headline news again. Not so much for its latest scheme, which will see half of the profit from its bars being shared with its 1,500 bar workers, who can expect to receive an extra GBP 3,000 to GBP 5,000 (USD 6,150) a year in cash.

It was BrewDog’s CEO James Watt, who brought a private prosecution against a woman. Mr Watt accused the model and influencer Emili Ziem, 29, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of fraud and malicious communication.

He claims she provided false information about who was responsible for “malicious” comments made about him on social media last year, when BrewDog was accused by ex-employees of fostering a “toxic culture”. This was reported by The Guardian newspaper on 5 May 2022 and various tabloid newspapers, who possibly see a juicy scandal brewing here.

See you in court

Lawyers for Ms Ziem, a Brazilian and Japanese citizen, indicated that she is preparing to contest the claims and will not comment on the case while proceedings are on-going. She was granted bail with no restrictions.

The case was allocated to Southwark Crown Court for a further pre-trial hearing on 1 June.

The case follows reports earlier this year that Mr Watt had hired private investigators to track the source of what he describes as a “coordinated criminal campaign of online harassment, defamation, blackmail, significant fraud and malicious communications”.

Mr Watt seems to have decided to play hardball with the media, too. The website goodbeerhunting.com, which also reported on the case against Ms Ziem, received a “Cease and Desist” letter from his lawyers. The article had to be removed from the website. But the website corruptionbuzz.info seems to run it – for the time being, at least.

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