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Boss denies defrauding blind workers' pensions

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The former owner of a social enterprise has denied defrauding blind and disabled employees by failing to make pension contributions.
Nicholas Marks bought Soap maker Clarity, which was based in east London, out of administration in 2020.
The 56-year-old, from Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court having been accused of not paying workers' pensions between 2020 and 2022.
He is next due in court on 8 May.
Clarity & Co was a social enterprise which had been providing employment opportunities for blind and disabled people since 1854.
It made toiletries under the Clarity, Soap Co. and Beco brands from its only factory – in Waltham Forest, east London.
The business, which has had patrons ranging from Queen Victoria to Joanna Lumley, was losing money and was put into administration in January 2020, before it was purchased by Mr Marks.
Clarity employed roughly 80 workers when it was sold, of whom 65 were blind, disabled, or had a health condition.
According to court documents Mr Marks, who was also the company's director, is charged with "fraud by abuse of position… namely by retaining employee and employer pension contributions, for yourself".
He is next due to appear in court at the Old Bailey.
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