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Trial of former Tesco bosses continues amid allegations of overstating profits by £250m

PUBLISHED: 08:45 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:45 11 October 2018

Tesco are investigating how a bag of rice could have contained insects. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Tesco are investigating how a bag of rice could have contained insects. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

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The trial continues today into the case of three Tesco executives charged with fraud and false accounting.

The chain’s chief executive told a court yesterday of his “genuine shock” on learning of the £250m overstatement of the company’s profits.

The firm’s shares plummeted by nearly 12%, wiping £2bn off the share value, when Tesco announced in September 2014 that the previous month it had overstated profits by about £250m.

A document, known as a legacy paper - showing the scale of the overstated profits, was released by Amit Soni, the UK finance manager, to Tesco’s legal department.

CEO David Lewis told a jury at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday that before seeing the report he had “no indication at all” that profits had been overestimated.

Two former directors at the supermarket chain are standing on trial accused of fraud.

Chris Bush, ex-UK managing director, and John Scouler, the then-UK food commercial director, were allegedly 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.

A third man, former UK finance director Carl Rogberg, is charged with identical offences but is not currently well enough to stand trial.

Scouler, 50, of The Park, St Albans, and Bush, 52, of Four Acres, Green End Road, Radnage, High Wycombe, each deny one count of fraud and another of false accounting and are on bail.

The trial is expected to last three months.

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