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Muddled DPA outcome for Tesco accounting fraud scandal

Neil Hodge | January 25, 2019

On 23 January, former Tesco Finance Director Carl Rogberg was cleared of fraud and false accounting, ending a legal saga that has called into question the effectiveness of the U.K. Serious Fraud Office’s investigatory powers and raises the question as to how it can be that a company can admit fraud but no one can be found responsible for it.

In September 2014, Tesco announced that it had overstated its profits by £250 million (U.S. $329 million). Following a two-year investigation that concluded in April 2017, Tesco paid a £129 million penalty (U.S. $170 million), a further £3m (U.S. $4 million) for the white-collar crime agency’s investigation costs, and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the agency. As part of that agreement, Tesco had to agree to a five-year compliance programme, which included creating a “commercial income governance...

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