Consumer Intelligence's Hughes on deception charge

LONDON – The chairman of DMA West and managing director of Bristol-based Consumer Intelligence Ian Hughes has been charged with obtaining a money transfer by deception.

He appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court last Wednesday and was granted unconditional bail. No plea has yet been entered and the case continues on December 20.

Hughes was initially arrested on August 9 and bailed pending further enquiries. He was arrested again on December 3.

Hughes has worked in the marketing industry for 16 years, beginning his career with Marks & Spencer.

He has worked in the US where he founded eCharity.com. He returned to the UK to launch Direct Excellence, a mystery shopping and market research company.

He left Direct Excellence in October 2003 to set up Consumer Intelligence in November 2003.

Consumer Intelligence provides information gathering services for financial services clients including Direct Line and Tesco Personal Finance, through mystery shopping and consumer panels.

Andy Akerman, commercial director at Consumer Intelligence, said that Hughes remains as managing director of the company.

UPDATE: When the case came to trial in August 2005 Hughes was found not guilty on all counts, following an application of no case to answer by the defence.

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