Waste management company Sita UK has launched a £90 million legal claim against scrap metal millionaire Andre Serruys, owner of SPC Holdings.
Andre Serruys, ranked 784 on the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, faces allegations that his family company fortune has been built on false claims.
At the centre of the legal claim is a deal secured last year in which Sita bought East Anglia Scrap Processing Company (Easco), the scrap metal division of SPC Holdings, for £91.5m.
Now Sita is taking Serruys to court. According to a claim filed by Sita in the High Court, Easco tricked customers from whom it was buying scrap.
Sitas legal claim says Easco lorry drivers practised skimming the custom of cheating suppliers of metal by using various tricks to falsely declare to the supplier the weight of scrap metal received, and paying the supplier a lower weight. Sita claims that Easco lorry drivers routinely drove on to weighbridges unevenly, leaving one or two wheels off to reduce the weight and value of the load and bribed weighbridge operators to turn a blind eye.
This allowed Easco to underpay for the metal it brought and boost profits when it sold the scrap on, the writ claims.
According to Sitas writ, the drivers were given a bonus for every tonne by which their loads were under recorded. The payouts ranged from £10 to £100.
A spokesman for Sita said: "In view of ongoing proceedings in the High Court, it would be inappropriate for Sita to comment at this time."
When MRW approached Eascos headquarters in Norfolk they refused to provide comment on Sitas claims and said that they did not have a contact number for Andre Serruys.