Serious Fraud Office takes action against three ex-Tesco executives following accounts irregularities
Three former executives at Tesco have been charged with fraud and false accounting following an investigation into the supermarket’s accounts in 2014.
The retailer has been under investigation since 2014, shortly after it declared that its profits had been overstated by £263m. Auditors revealed that the company had booked rebates from suppliers that it had not yet received.
The scandal also led to a lawsuit filed by its shareholders and an investigation at the UK’s Financial Reporting Council, which is still investigating PriceWaterhouseCooper in relation to Tesco’s accounts.
The last two years have seen an extensive programme of change at Tesco, but given this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide any further comment at this time.”
Carl Rogberg, Christopher Bush and John Scouler have all been charged with false accounting and fraud. The three served as Finance Director, Managing Director of Tesco UK and UK Food Commercial Director respectively.
The arrests are related to activity that allegedly took place between February 2014 and September 2014.
All three were suspended from their roles at Tesco following an internal investigation in 2014.
Former Tesco CEO Philip Clarke was interviewed under caution by the Serious Fraud Office but is not being charged with any offence.
In a statement, Tesco acknowledged the prosecution against its former employees and stressed that it was cooperating with the investigation.
Tesco added: “The last two years have seen an extensive programme of change at Tesco, but given this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide any further comment at this time.”
The three executives are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 22 September. They could face up to ten years in prison if found guilty.
The Serious Fraud Office said that its investigation into Tesco “remains ongoing”.