Belfast Telegraph

Former Tesco executives to face retrial over accounting scandal

The fraud squad has written to the Court to seek a retrial of the trio after the original case was discontinued.

The Serious Fraud Office is to seek a retrial of three former Tesco executives over the supermarket’s accounting scandal.

The fraud squad has written to Court to seek a retrial of the trio after the original case was discontinued in February because Carl Rogberg, one of the defendants, had a heart attack.

A date for the next hearing will be set in due course, the SFO said.

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Tesco accounts fraud

Rogberg, Chris Bush and John Scouler – Tesco’s former finance chief, managing director and food commercial head – are accused of failing to correct inaccurately recorded income figures which were published to auditors, other employees and the wider market.

All three maintain their innocence.

The case relates to a bombshell disclosure in 2014, when the supermarket giant admitted that issues uncovered in its UK food business meant it was likely to have overstated profits by £250 million.

The revelations wiped £2 billion off the supermarket’s share price in one day, and the overstatement was later revised up to £326 million.

Mr Neil O’May of Norton Rose Fulbright, solicitor to Rogberg, said on Friday: “Carl Rogberg was told today that the SFO will continue with its case against him.

Mr Rogberg will now continue to fight these allegations to prove his innocence Neil O'May, solicitor to Rogberg

“He is extremely disappointed by this decision.  He had wanted the previous jury to be able to reach its verdict and was shocked when that trial was abandoned.

“Mr Rogberg will now continue to fight these allegations to prove his innocence.”

The former Tesco man is currently recovering at home following quadruple heart bypass surgery.

In 2017, Tesco reached an agreement with authorities over the scandal that saw it pay £85 million in compensation payouts to investors and £129 million in fines and costs.

The Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the SFO saw the company escape prosecution but book a total hit of £235 million.

The agreement came as Britain’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, concluded that Tesco had committed market abuse.

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