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Boohoo chief faces grilling in LA court over ‘fake discount’ claims

Boohoo (PA Wire)
Boohoo (PA Wire)

The co-founder of clothing retailer Boohoo.com must give evidence in a US lawsuit alleging that customers were deceived with fraudulent pricing, a judge has ruled.

Mahmud Kamani faces a four-hour grilling next month over claims the retailer “advertised fake and inflated” prices to dupe buyers into thinking they were landing a bargain.

Making the ruling, Judge John E. McDermott said an alleged victim, Farid Khan, had presented evidence that Mr Kamani, the executive chairman of Boohoo Group plc, has “unique personal” knowledge which is relevant to the lawsuit.

The online fast-fashion brand, with headquarters in Manchester, “vehemently” denies allegations of fraud.

Documents in the case appear to show Mr Kamani sent emails to senior executives, including chief executive officer John Lyttle, telling them how to run a marketing campaign in Australia.

Boohoo’s accusers say the emails reveal the “same false” price structure Boohoo used in the US, arguing Mr Kamani was the “architect and major driver” of pricing schemes.

However the retailer’s lawyers insisted the messages are irrelevant, arguing junior staff who dealt with advertising campaigns should testify instead.

Mr Kamani is due to give his deposition via video conference to a court in Los Angeles on August 15.

“We vehemently deny any allegation of fraudulent behaviour”, said a Boohoo spokesman.

“The low advertised prices that our customers pay are clearly disclosed and highly competitive to the prices offered by our competitors for similar styles.”

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