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Tesco trial collapse

07 December 2018

The retrial of two former Tesco executives collapsed after judge Sir John Royce said the men have no case to answer.

Chris Bush and John Scouler were charged with one count of fraud by abuse of position and one of false accounting.

Sir John told the jury that he “concluded that in certain crucial areas the prosecution case was so weak”. He felt that while you may come to the conclusion that fraudulent activity was taking place, this did not prove that these defendants were party to it or understand that unlawful recognition of income was taking place.

The judge was that Amit Soni, a Tesco FD, who reported the alleged fraud, was the ‘gatekeeper’, who along with his finance colleagues should have ensured income was being properly recorded. Soni admitted he didn’t tell the two defendants what was happening until he provided a full report for the board. The judge said if a qualified accountant did not know what was going on “how could it be safely assumed the defendants knew?”

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