Jury sworn in for former Tesco executives’ fraud trial

The supermarket's former finance chief, MD and food commercial head were investigated for their alleged role in a high profile accounting scandal
The supermarket's former finance chief, MD and food commercial head were investigated for their alleged role in a high profile accounting scandal

A jury has been sworn in for the trial of three former Tesco executives over the £326 million accounting scandal at the supermarket.

Carl Rogberg, 50, Chris Bush, 51, and John Scouler, 49, are charged with fraud by abuse of position and false accounting, between February and September 2014.

The supermarket’s former finance chief, managing director and food commercial head were investigated for their alleged role in an accounting scandal in which Tesco was found to have inflated its profits by £326m in 2014.

They allegedly failed to correct inaccurately inflated income figures for the supermarket, which were published to auditors, other Tesco employees and the wider market.

Rogberg, of Chiselhampton, Oxfordshire, stood alongside Bush, of Green End Road, in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Scouler, of The Park, St Albans, Hertfordshire, all deny the charges.

They stood in the dock as a jury of five women and seven men were sworn in.

An additional two jurors were sworn in but will be released after Sasha Wass QC has finished opening the case for the prosecution, if not needed.

The jury members were sent away by Judge Deborah Taylor, who told them to return on Thursday when the case is expected to be opened.

Judge Taylor told jurors: “We believe the case will potentially last into the new year.”

She said they may have read news reports about Tesco, but asked them to “put aside anything you have heard about the company and start with a blank page”.

The trial is due to last for around 13 weeks.

Judge Taylor extended the defendants’ unconditional bail for the duration of the trial.