Sunday, July 21, 2024

Charges in Tesco fraud investigation

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged three former senior Tesco executives with fraud in its investigation into accounting practices at the supermarket chain.

The alleged activity occurred between February 2014 and September 2014, when a £250 million ($439.95 million) overstatement of Tesco’s first-half profits in August 2014, due to booking deals with suppliers too early, led to the suspension of eight senior members of staff in the following months. Carl Rogberg, Christopher Bush and John Scouler have been charged with one count of fraud by abuse of position and one count of false accounting.

The case is reminiscent of an investigation into the accounting treatment of a number of Target supplier arrangements negotiated in December 2015, which saw Target managing director Stuart Machin announce his resignation from the Wesfarmers group in April.

“We note the decision of the SFO to bring a prosecution against former colleagues in relation to historic issues and acknowledge the investigation into the company is ongoing,” Tesco said in a statement. “Tesco continues to cooperate with the SFO’s investigation. The last two years have seen an extensive program of change at Tesco, but given this is an ongoing legal matter. We’re unable to provide any further comment at this time.”

The three defendants will appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 22, 2016. The investigation into Tesco PLC remains ongoing.

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