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Former Tesco Finance Director cleared of fraud

Thursday 24th January, 2019

The last of three former directors at Tesco accused of fraud and false accounting has been acquitted, leaving the Serious Fraud Office without a single conviction for the accounting scandal.

Carl Rogberg who worked for Tesco for eight years in the role of UK Finance Director, was cleared by Southwark crown court on Wednesday.

In December the other two directors, Chris Bush and John Scouler were acquitted after the judge Sir John Royce dismissed the case brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

According to The Guardian, Despite Royce’s withering assessment of the merits of the SFO case last month, the agency maintained that it was still considering pursuing a retrial against Rogberg but on Wednesday it offered no evidence.

Tesco has already paid the SFO a £129m fine and further legal costs as part of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) that named the three Tesco executives.

Ross Dixon, a partner at the solicitors Hickman & Rose, who represented Bush throughout his trial, described it as an “extraordinary outcome” and called for the “urgent reform” of the DPA process: “We now have two contradictory outcomes: that of the criminal trial in which the allegations were dismissed for lack of evidence and the DPA based on the same allegations.”

The first trial of all three men in 2018 collapsed after Rogberg was taken ill and he was not part of that retrial because he was recovering from a heart attack.