Ex-Tesco bosses cleared of fraud

Western Daily Press - - Uk & World News -

TWO former Tesco di­rec­tors have been cleared of fraud and false ac­count­ing in re­la­tion to the com­pany’s prof­its be­ing over­stated by £250 mil­lion.

The firm’s shares plum­meted by nearly 12%, wip­ing £2 bil­lion off the share value, when Tesco an­nounced in Septem­ber 2014 that a state­ment the pre­vi­ous month had over­stated prof­its by about a quar­ter of a bil­lion pounds.

Chris Bush, 52, ex-UK man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, and John Scouler, 50, the then UK food com­mer­cial di­rec­tor, were ac­cused of be­ing aware that in­come was be­ing 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 Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice (SFO), bring­ing the trial to a halt after the prose­cu­tion pre­sented its case. The SFO went to the Court of Ap­peal re­gard­ing the dis­missal, but its ap­peal was dis­missed on Wed­nes­day and the men were cleared by Court of Ap­peal judges.

None of this could be re­ported un­til the jury was in­formed.

Pho­tos: Do­minic Lip­in­ski

Former Tesco bosses John Scouler, left, and Chris Bush

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