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Ex-Tesco directors back in court over fraud and profit overstatement

Three former directors of Tesco have been taken back to court for overstating profits and allegations of fraud in 2014.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are prosecuting former UK finance chief Carl Rogberg, former UK food commercial director John Scouler and former UK managing director Christopher Bush for one count of fraud and false accounting.

Rogberg is said to currently be too ill to stand trial following a heart attack.

An investigation into Tesco’s accounting practices was launched by the SFO in 2014 and the three were charged in 2016. All three men deny the charges against them.

The court heard that in September 2014 the company had overstated its profits by £250m for the first half of its financial year just weeks after it said it expected half-year profits to be £1.1bn. It was later discovered its income had been overstated by £284m.

Sasha Wass QC, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution case in a nutshell is that the defendants, together with Mr Rogberg, were aware that income was being wrongly included in the financial records of the company which were used to inform statements to the stock market.

“They were aware that this was being done in order to meet targets so that the company would look financially healthier than it was. They were aware that this wrongly included income would result in Tesco’s trading profit and share price being overstated.”

The trial continues.

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