UK Serious Fraud Office publishes deferred prosecution agreement with Tesco
28 Jan 2019

The Serious Fraud Office has published the full terms of its deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with supermarket giant Tesco after reporting restrictions were lifted.

Under the DPA, Tesco agreed to pay a £129m fine and £3m investigation costs, and also agreed to undertake and implement an ongoing compliance programme during the three year term of the DPA.

As part of the deal, Tesco accepted responsibility for false accounting practices.

The DPA with Tesco – which was reached on 10 April 2017 – was the fourth ever agreed in the UK.

“Between February and September 2014, instead of working to safeguard the financial interests of the company and its shareholders, a culture existed at Tesco that encouraged illegal practices to meet accounting targets, including improperly recognised income in the UK accounts, by ‘pulling forward’ income from subsequent reporting periods,” the SFO said.

Three former Tesco employees – Carl Rogberg, John Scouler and Christopher Bush – who held senior management roles in the Tesco UK business, were charged over allegations of fraud and false accounting in September 2016.

However, it was ruled that Christopher Bush and John Scouler had no case to answer on Monday 26 November 2018.

A third defendant, Carl Rogberg, was severed from the trial. The SFO offered no evidence at a hearing on 23 January 2019 and Mr Rogberg was acquitted of all charges.

The details of the DPA can be accessed here

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