LONDON Dec 15 The former group commercial
director of Tesco, Kevin Grace, will not face charges
from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over the accounting scandal
that rocked Britain's biggest retailer in 2014, his lawyer said
Stephen Pollard, partner at law firm WilmerHale, said he had
been informed Grace would not face charges, declining to comment
The SFO declined to comment beyond stating its more than
two-years investigation into Tesco was continuing.
Grace left Tesco in 2014 shortly after the scandal broke.
Last month Philip Clarke, the former chief executive of
Tesco, found out he would not face charges.
In October, three former senior executives of Tesco accused
of fraud and false accounting were told they would face trial
Christopher Bush, who was managing director of Tesco UK,
Carl Rogberg, who was UK finance director, and John Scouler, who
was UK food commercial director, were charged by the SFO in
September with one count of fraud by abuse of position and one
count of false accounting.
The SFO said the alleged crimes occurred between Feb. 1 and
Sept. 23, 2014.
Tesco issued a statement to the Stock Exchange on Sept. 22,
2014, saying that during its final preparations for a results
announcement it had identified a 250 million-pound ($311
million) overstatement of first-half profit, mainly due to
booking commercial deals with suppliers too early.
The discovery sent Tesco's shares tumbling and plunged the
company into the worst crisis since Jack Cohen founded the
business nearly 100 years ago.
The profit overstatement, identified three weeks after Dave
Lewis took over as CEO from Clarke, was later raised to 263
Clarke and Grace not facing charges could have implications
for the SFO deciding to prosecute the company itself.
The two were seen by lawyers as the most-likely route
amongst the suspects to charges for Tesco Plc as a group or for
a deferred prosecution agreement, a type of plea bargain. The
other three suspects charged all worked for the UK arm.
($1 = 0.8050 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alan Crosby)