Tesco has come under serious pressure as three of its former executives were charged with fraud and false accounting today.
The Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into the grocer’s accounting scandal has found ex-finance chief Carl Rogberg, ex-managing director Chris Bush and John Scouler, the former food commercial head, to be guilty of fraud.
They have been called to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 22.
During former chief executive Philip Clarke’s leadership, who has reportedly also face questions by the SFO and could still be charged, Tesco was found to have inflated its profits by £326 million.
Three men have been charged with fraud relating to the missing money. The charges the thrio face are Fraud by Abuse of Position, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, and one count of False Accounting, which carries seven years.
“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 said in a statement.
“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.”
In a statement Ross Dixon Mr Bush’s solicitor said: “Today Mr Bush has been notified that he is to be charged with allegations of being party to the overstating of profit by Tesco.
“He is extremely disappointed by this decision. He is not guilty and from the outset has fully co-operated with both Tesco and the SFO in their investigations. He will vigorously contest these allegations and is confident he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.”