Ex-Tesco executives deny fraud charges

Carl Rogberg (right)
Image caption Carl Rogberg, ex-UK finance director (right) is accused of failing to correct inaccurately-inflated income figures

Three former Tesco executives have denied charges in relation to a £326m accounting scandal at the supermarket.

They are Christopher Bush, ex-managing director of Tesco UK, Carl Rogberg, ex-UK finance director, and John Scouler, who was UK food commercial director.

The men are charged with one count of fraud by abuse of position and one count of false accounting.

At a hearing Westminster Magistrates' Court their lawyers indicated pleas of not guilty to all charges.

The former executives were released on bail and must appear at Southwark Crown Court on 20 October for a plea hearing.

Mr Rogberg, of Chiselhampton, near Oxford, Mr Bush, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Mr Scouler, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, were charged earlier this month by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

It is alleged they failed to correct inaccurately-inflated income figures for the supermarket, which were published to auditors, other Tesco employees and the wider market.

The SFO said its investigation into Tesco "remains ongoing".

Tesco uncovered a £250m overstatement of first-half profits in September 2014, which led to the suspension of eight senior members of staff including Mr Bush, Mr Rogberg and Mr Scouler.

However, the profit overstatement, discovered three weeks after Dave Lewis took over as chief executive from Philip Clarke, was later raised to £263m.

Later, that figure was revised upwards to £326m when Tesco included previous accounts.

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