Probe into auditor’s role in Tesco accounting scandal ends

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Tesco deliveries

The Tesco accounting scandal has closed another chapter after the country’s peak financial watchdog ended its probe into the firm that acted as auditor.

The Financial Reporting Council — which has been investigating Tesco’s accounts for 2012, 2013 and 2014 for over two years — has dropped its inquiry into PwC, saying there was “not a realistic prospect” the company would be found guilty.

However, investigations will continue on other accountancy bodies involved in the scandal.

The scandal relates a £263 million back hole that was revealed in Tesco’s trading update on August 29, 2014.

This was later revised to £326 million.

READ MORE: Tesco CEO Dave Lewis to act as witness in fraud trial

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) began its Tesco inquiry in October 2014, just weeks after Dave Lewis replaced Philip Clarke as the grocer’s chief executive.

The SFO found Tesco had committed market abuse when it exaggerated profits, and three former executives – UK boss Chris Bush, finance director Carl Rogberg and commercial director John Scouler – were charged last year with offences including false accounting and fraud by abuse of position.

The trio, who have all pleased not guilty, are expected to stand trial from September.

Clarke was recently let off by the SFO after being under investigation last year.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that Tesco as a company would escape persecution after confirming it would pay a £129 million fine and £85 million in compensation to shareholders in order to settle the SFO’s investigation.

However, Lewis was recently summoned to appear as a witness in the fraud case involving the three former executives.

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