Dame Ann Gloag, co-founder of Stagecoach Group, has been charged in connection with human trafficking offences.
Her husband, David McCleary, and two other members of their family were also charged in connection with the investigation on Thursday.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “On January 19, 2023, four individuals were charged in connection with an investigation into alleged human trafficking and immigration offences.
“A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.”
A spokesperson for the 80-year-old strongly denied the allegations, and revealed the businesswoman would “vigorously defend herself to protect her legacy”.
A statement read: “Whilst we cannot comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, Dame Ann strongly disputes the malicious allegations that have been made against her, her foundation and members of her family, and will vigorously defend herself and the work of her foundation to protect her legacy and continue her work helping thousands of people in the UK and abroad every year.”
Dame Ann, who was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2019 New Year Honours list, is one of Scotland’s richest women after starting the Stagecoach Group in 1980 alongside with her brother.
She is worth over a reported £700m and owns a foundation aimed at tackling poverty and encouraging the advancement of education, health and religion in the UK and overseas.
Sarah Brown, wife of former prime minister Gordon Brown, took to Twitter to voice her support for Dame Ann.
Mrs Brown said: “Gordon and I have known Ann Gloag for many years through her huge personal commitment to Freedom from Fistula and supporting girls’ health & education.
“She is a remarkable campaigner and quietly generous charity supporter. These charges just don’t add up.”