Watchdog ends five-year investigation into Tesco’s accounting scandal

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Tesco Big 4 accounting scandal Financial Reporting Council
In 2017, Tesco had to pay out £235 million to settle investigations by the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Conduct Authority
// The Financial Reporting Council’s 5-year investigation into Tesco’s accounting scandal concludes
// The watchdog had been probing a £250m overstatement of Tesco’s profit in 2014

Tesco has reportedly seen a five-year investigation by the UK’s Financial Reporting Council into a major accounting scandal come to an end, more than a year after a trial of two former executives failed.

The watchdog had been probing a £250 million overstatement of the grocer’s profit that was announced in September 2014.

The investigation, which opened three months later, was looking into the preparation, approval and auditing of Tesco’s financial statements over three separate years, according to the Press Association.


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In 2016, the watchdog dropped an investigation into former finance director Laurie McIlwee.

McIlwee had left his job at Tesco in April 2014 with a £1 million payoff following tensions with the then chief executive, Philip Clarke.

Five months later, Clarke’s successor, Dave Lewis, flagged up the discovery of a black hole in the company’s accounts that was eventually valued at £263 million.

A year later it abandoned its inquiries into PwC, Tesco’s auditor.

In 2017, Tesco had to pay out £235 million to settle investigations by the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Conduct Authority into the 2014 accounting scandal.

It was due to pay a fine of £129 million as part of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the SFO, although this deal required court approval.

“I want to apologise to all those affected. What happened is a huge source of regret to us all at Tesco, but we are a different business now,” Lewis said at the time.

With PA Wires

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