The trial of three former Tesco executives over the £326 million accounting scandal in 2014 is due to start today.
The grocer’s former UK boss Chris Bush, former finance director Carl Rogberg and former commercial director John Scouler – were charged last year with offences including false accounting and fraud by abuse of position.
The trio, who have all pleaded not guilty, are due to stand trial at Southwark Crown Court today.
The scandal in question relates to a £263 million back hole that was revealed in Tesco’s trading update on August 29, 2014. This was later revised to £326 million.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) led an investigation that implicated the trio and found Tesco had committed market abuse when it exaggerated profits.
The three men allegedly failed to correct inaccurately inflated income figures for the supermarket, which were published to auditors, other Tesco employees and the wider market.
Former chief executive Philip Clarke, who stepped down just weeks after the accounting black hole was unearthed, was let off by the SFO after being under investigation last year.
The Financial Conduct Authority and SFO also slapped Tesco with a £129 million fine.
Last month, Tesco opened its £85 million compensation scheme for investors misled by the 2014 accounting scandal.
The scheme will provide redress to the estimated 10,000 investors that bought into Tesco between August 29 and September 19, 2014.
While accounting regulators have dropped a case against auditor PwC, investigations into employees’ actions are continuing.