Three former Tesco executives charged with fraud by abuse of position and false accounting have had their trial adjourned until September 25th.
The trio – UK managing director Christopher Bush, ex-finance director Carl Rogberg and ex-commercial director John Scouler – were charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in September 2016, pleading not guilty in a hearing in August.
The trial is expected to last 10-12 weeks, with a possible prison sentence of seven to 10 years if found guilty. Lawyers acting for Bush, Rogberg and Scouler have entered a plea of not guilty.
The scandal was the result of Tesco revealing that it had overstated profits by £263 million in its half-year results, with the trio among eight senior Tesco staff members suspended after the false accounting emerged.
The subsequent scandal following the false accounting had a negative effect on Tesco’s share price and sparked a series of lawsuits from investors who claimed they had lost millions after buying shares based on the original account information.
The supermarket giant was hit by a £129m fine and ordered to pay compensation to its shareholders by the Financial Conduct Authority.