Joe Bloggs founder in court

Millionaire jeans mogul Shami Ahmed appeared in court today charged with conspiracy to impersonate a customs officer.

The rag trade entrepreneur, who founded the Joe Bloggs brand, allegedly hatched the plot with four other men.

A 15-minute preliminary hearing at London's Southwark Crown Court heard the offence was allegedly committed on or before 29 September this year. The charge against the Manchester-based businessman - listed under his full name Eaithi- sham Ahmed - and his co-defendants, was not read out in full.

In the dock with Ahmed, 42, of Blackburne's Mews, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, was David Montgomery, also 42 and Simon Jones, 23, both of Hersham Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey; Mark Sheppard, 44, of Claremount Avenue, Walton-on-Thames and Christopher Hanson, 47, of Park Road, East Molesey, Surrey.

Although no pleas were taken, counsel for the men, who remain on conditional bail, said the "indications" were that their clients would deny the charge at a hearing on 15 December.