Ex-Tesco di­rec­tors cleared of fraud

Manchester Evening News - - NATIONAL -

THE Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice (SFO) has been dealt a ma­jor blow after two former Tesco di­rec­tors were ac­quit­ted over a £250 mil­lion fraud and false ac­count­ing scan­dal in 2014.

Chris Bush, ex-UK man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, and John Scouler, the then UK food com­mer­cial di­rec­tor, were ac­cused of be­ing aware that in­come was wrongly in­cluded in the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial records to meet tar­gets and make Tesco look fi­nan­cially health­ier than it was.

But yes­ter­day at South­wark Crown Court, the jury was told that they were ac­quit­ted at the Court of Ap­peal on Wed­nes­day.

The ac­quit­tal came after trial judge Sir John Royce dis­missed the case brought by the SFO, bring­ing the trial to a halt after the prose­cu­tion pre­sented its case.

The SFO went to the Court of Ap­peal over the dis­missal, but its ap­peal was dis­missed and the men were cleared by Court of Ap­peal judges.

Mr Scouler, 50, of The Park, St Al­bans, and Mr Bush, 52, of Four Acres, Green End Road, Rad­nage, High Wy­combe, were each cleared of one count of fraud and an­other of false ac­count­ing.

A third man, former UK fi­nance di­rec­tor Carl Rog­berg, is charged with iden­ti­cal of­fences but was not well enough to stand trial.

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