Tesco former executives accused of 'cooking the books'


Three former top Tesco executives were accused of "cooking the books" to overestimate profits by £250 million (283 million euros, $334 million), prosecutors said at the start of their trial in London on Friday.
Tesco, the world's third-biggest supermarket group after global leader and US giant Wal-Mart and France's Carrefour, was rocked by an accounting scandal in 2014 that sent shockwaves through the markets.
The supermarket's former finance chief Carl Rogberg, managing director Chris Bush and food commercial head John Scouler are charged with fraud by abuse of position and false accounting in 2014.
"The prosecution case in a nutshell is that all three defendants were aware that income was being wrongly included in the financial records of the company," prosecutor Sasha Wass told the court.
"Each of the defendants was aware that this would lead to the company looking financially healthier than it actually was and it would result in Tesco's trading profits being overstated.
"This, say the prosecution, was clearly dishonest," she said, adding that the case amounted to "cooking the books or what lawyers call false accounting".
"The three defendants who are on trial in this case are not the foot soldiers who misconducted themselves," she said.
"The defendants in this case are the generals -- those who are in positions of trust and who were paid huge compensation packages in order to safeguard the financial health of Tesco".
The court heard that Rogberg was paid more than £1.0 million in 2014, Bush received nearly £3.0 million and Scouler got £1.5 million that year.
"Each defendant would have had a very personal interest in keeping the share value of the company high, because a lot of their remuneration package included shares," she said.
© 2017 AFP
Tesco former executives accused of 'cooking the books' Tesco former executives accused of 'cooking the books' Reviewed by Alexander Von Stern on 08:53:00 Rating: 5