Former Tesco executive, Carl Rogberg, has been cleared of £250m fraud and false accounting charges, which sent the supermarket into financial crisis.
Rogberg, the former finance director at Tesco, was cleared at Southwark Crown Court this morning (23 January) of the charges which wiped £15bn off of Tesco’s share price in one day.
Chris Bush, former UK managing director, and John Scouler, former UK food commercial director of Tesco were acquitted of £250m fraud and false accounting charges in December after a judge ruled there was a lack of evidence. Judge, Sir John Royce said the case was “so weak it should not be left for a jury’s consideration”.
Rogberg was excluded from the trial of Bush and Scouler as he had just recovered from a heart attack. The first trial including all three men scheduled in 2018, fell through after Rogberg was taken ill.
Despite the verdict, the Serious Fraud Office said it was still considering a looking for a retrial against Rogberg, however it offered no evidence during this morning’s trial.
Rogberg said: “It is a huge relief that this day has finally come. While I always had faith that it would, the journey here has not been an easy one. The trial has had enormous consequences on my health and exemplary career, as well as for my wife, my son, my family and my friends.
“I have serious questions for Tesco and the SFO about the way this case has been handled throughout. The circumstances were never properly investigated by Tesco from the outset. They rushed to the wrong judgment and then entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the SFO on a completely false basis.”
He added: “Truth and justice were abandoned for their commercial imperatives. Tesco needlessly paid over £129m in fines, not to mention the value that was lost in the company as a result of this fiasco. Their drastic action has been extremely damaging for Tesco’s employees, shareholders and pension funds.”