Boohoo’s co-founder and chairman Mahmud Kamani has been ordered to testify under oath in a class-action lawsuit over alleged fraudulent pricing.
Kamani has been fighting calls for him to stand before the court after emails between him and executives were used as evidence in a Los Angeles court earlier this month.
According to the lawsuit, filed in California last year, a number of Boohoo’s brands including its PrettyLittleThing and NastyGal stand accused of offering discounts based on entirely “fake” original prices to dupe customers “into a false belief that the sale price is a deeply discounted bargain.”
The controversial figure, who is still battling to rebuild Boohoo’s reputation after a number of damning investigations into its supply chain in the UK, argued that he was “not customarily involved in setting prices for individual items”.
However, US Magistrate Judge John E. McDermott said that Kamani must appear before the court via video conference for a four-hour deposition.
The ruling came after prosecuting lawyers revealed emails from Kamani to his staff in 2019, telling them to “put massive offers on screen”, adding that he wanted to “see and approve every penny cent”.
They argued that Kamani’s emails are evidence of “the same false pricing tactics” mentioned in the lawsuit, and that he must testify because he has unique, first-hand knowledge of facts relevant to their claim.
Yasin Kahn, the lawyer representing the prosecution, said they had provided: “hard evidence that Mr. Kamani is an architect and major driver of the fraudulent pricing schemes Boohoo Group is using to deceive its customers.
“We intend to fully cross-examine Mr. Kamani and expose Boohoo’s widespread deception practices coming straight from the top.”