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For those who made the conscious decision to spend more on free range or organic eggs, it was worth paying a premium to know the hens that laid them had been kept in ethical conditions.

But those people who ended up paying over the odds for Keith Owen's eggs may feel a little less warm inside after it emerged the 44-year-old egg wholesaler had scammed all the major supermarkets and numerous small shops by passing off about 100m battery farmed eggs as free range or organic.

Owen, a married father-of-two from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, was jailed for three years today and forced to surrender the £3m profit he had made by "dishonestly and systematically" mis-describing eggs over a two-year period. The fraud abused "well-intentioned public trust" by scamming innocent customers who had paid extra to ensure better animal welfare, Worcester crown court heard.
full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/ma...ets-free-range

The scale of the fraud he pulled off is pretty crazy - 100 million eggs! Good to see he's getting hard time for it.
 
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