Ex-Tesco bosses cleared of fraud
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.
Former Tesco bosses John Scouler, left, and Chris Bush