October 3, 2017 / 1:32 PM / 9 months ago

Two Tesco finance staff quit over accounting concerns, court told

LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Two members of Tesco’s finance department resigned in 2014 because they were concerned that their professional integrity was being compromised by what they were being asked to do by their bosses, a court heard on Tuesday.

The case follows Tesco’s announcement in 2014 that its profit forecast had been overstated by 250 million pounds ($332 million) — a disclosure that saw its shares tumble and plunged the company into the worst crisis in its near 100-year history.

Christopher Bush, 51, who was managing director of Tesco UK, Carl Rogberg, 50, who was UK finance director, and John Scouler, 49, who was UK food commercial director, all deny charges of fraud and false accounting.

On the third day of the trial, lead prosecutor Sasha Wass told the jury that Richard Parsons, a finance project manager, and Nadiri Aysen, an accountant, both quit their jobs with Tesco over their concerns.

“Two persons felt so compromised by the mis-recording of profit they did resign rather than engage in what they considered to be practices that were unlawful,” Wass told London’s Southwark Crown Court.

On Friday the prosecution told the court that the three defendants had abused their positions of trust by encouraging the manipulation of profit figures, lying to auditors and misleading the stock market. ($1 = 0.7534 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Keith Weir)

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