Three ex Tesco executives charged with fraud over £300m black hole in accounts

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Three former Tesco executives have been charged with fraud and false accounting as part of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into the supermarket's accounting scandal.

Carl Rogberg, Chris Bush and John Scouler - the supermarket's former finance chief, managing director and food commercial head respectively - have been requisitioned to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on September 22.

The trio, who worked under former chief executive Philip Clarke, have been questioned over their role in the scandal, which saw a £326 million black hole uncovered in Tesco's accounts in 2014.

Tesco said in a statement: "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 continues to cooperate with the SFO's investigation. 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 SFO said it had charged the men with one count of Fraud by Abuse of Position, contrary to section 1 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 and one count of False Accounting contrary to s17 Theft Act 1968.

The alleged activity occurred between February 2014 and September 2014.

It has been reported that Mr Clarke has also been question by the SFO as part of its probe.

Mr Clarke, who left the retailer in September 2014, oversaw a string of profit warnings and a slump in market share as Tesco came under pressure from discount rivals Aldi and Lidl.

The SFO said that the investigation into Tesco "remains ongoing".

Last week, Tesco's former chief financial officer Laurie Mcilwee was cleared by the accountancy watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), over his role in the scandal.

Mr Mcilwee resigned as chief financial officer of Britain's biggest supermarket in April 2014, and the FRC said it had ended the investigation because there was ''no realistic prospect'' that a tribunal would make an adverse finding in relation to his conduct.