No charges for former Tesco boss in accounting scandal

Former Tesco CEO Philip Clarke will not face charges from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in relation to the supermarket giant's accounting scandal, according to his lawyer.

Former Tesco CEO Philip Clarke
Former Tesco CEO Philip Clarke

Mr Clarke’s law firm Corker Binning has been notified by the SFO that there is “insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction” for his alleged role in the case, the Financial Times reported.

In 2014, Tesco was found to have inflated its profits by £263 million, later revised up to £326m.

The move means it is less likely that the company will face prosecution as, according to UK corporate liability law, a “directing mind” must be shown to have overseen a fraud.

Three former Tesco executives have been charged with fraud by the SFO.

Carl Rogberg, Chris Bush and John Scouler - the supermarket’s former finance chief, managing director and food commercial head respectively - will face a trial in 2017 and could be handed lengthy jail sentences if convicted.

The SFO has charged the men with one count of Fraud by Abuse of Position, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, and one count of False Accounting, which carries seven years.

Tesco is also facing legal action from a group of 125 large investors who claim to have lost “well in excess of £100 million” as a result of the accounting scandal.