A businesswoman has been charged with flouting licensing rules designed to protect workers from being exploited.
Tina Walker, 44, who runs a firm called UR Workforce Solutions Limited, based at Winckley Court, Mount Street, Preston, is being prosecuted by the Gangmaster Licensing Authority (GLA).
Walker, an American national who lives in a plush property on Walker Lane, Fulwood, is accused of acting as a gangmaster in contravention of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004.
It relates to an allegation she failed to obtain a licence to operate her new recruitment business between February and September 2012.
The firm, which the GLA says provides workers for the meat processing industry, is accused of the same offence.
Neither Mrs Walker or the firm were contactable.
A hearing was held at Preston Magistrates Court but the case is adjourned to August 21.
The meat industry is one of several areas protected by the GLA, which was set up to protect workers in agriculture, horticulture, food processing and packaging, forestry and shellfish gathering, from exploitation, following the Morecambe Bay cockling disaster in 2004.
A GLA spokesman said: “By ensuring all labour providers operating in these sectors have a licence and comply with our strict standards we can better protect vulnerable people and ensure businesses are not cutting corners and are operating on a level playing field.
“We are intelligence led and rely on reports from workers and members of the public who suspect something is wrong.”