An Irish businessman alleged to have taken part in a multimillion-euro egg sales fraud could face life imprisonment if convicted.

Pearse Piggott, who owns egg distributor Pearse Piggott & Sons, is accused of passing off 36 million conventionally produced eggs supplied to British retailers as free-range or organic.

Last week he agreed in the Irish High Court in Dublin to be extradited to the UK to face trial. Piggott had earlier failed to have the extradition hearing delayed until October.

If found guilty, Piggot will face a maximum sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment on charges of conspiracy to defraud and perverting the course of justice. A further charge of false accounting has been dropped.

It is alleged that Piggott and Keith Owen of Heart of England Eggs conspired together in the fraud, which was said to have netted profits of almost 1.6m.