Joel Muckett 25 Sep 2017 01:12pm

Former Tesco executives accused of fraud due to stand trial

Three former Tesco executives accused of fraud and false accounting at Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco

They are due to stand trial on Monday at Southwark Crown Court after an adjournment a few weeks ago

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) charged former managing director of Tesco Christopher Bush, ex-UK finance director Carl Rogberg, and former UK food commercial director John Scouler, with one count of fraud by abuse of position and one count of false accounting stemming from their roles in an accounting scandal where Tesco was found to have inflated their profits by £326m.

The three men pleaded not guilty at a hearing on August 3. The face prison sentences of up to seven and 10 years if convicted.

They are alleged to have inaccurately inflated income figures and falsifying accounting records.

In July, KPMG opened a compensation scheme for shareholders misled over the 2014 Tesco accounting scandal. Tesco will pay an average of £400 per shareholder.

The case signals the first in a series of forthcoming high-profile cases for the SFO, as the anti-fraud agency is due to prosecute Barclays and four former executives on charges fraud related to a deal with Qatar during the 2008 financial crisis.

Earlier this year, the SFO secured a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) against Tesco for £129m. DPAs punish companies through a fine, avoiding an extended and expensive process of court proceedings.

The long-term future of the anti-fraud agency has been put in doubt as Theresa May wants to merge it into the National Crime Agency.