Tesco signage© High Level/Rex Shutterstock

Three former directors of Tesco have been charged with fraud relating to the supermarket’s multimillion pound overstatement of half-year profits in 2014.

Carl Rogberg, former finance director, Christopher Bush, former UK managing director and John Scouler, former UK food commercial director, have been charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). 

The three men are charged with one count of fraud for abuse of position and one count of false accounting for activity between February 2014 and September 2014.

See also: Tesco profit overestimate raised to £326m

The accounting scandal was brought to light in September 2014, when Tesco announced a whistleblower had come forward.

The retailer estimated it had overstated its half-year profits by £263m. Later, financial results for 2014-15 showed this figure was closer to £326m.

Both the SFO and the Groceries Code Adjudicator launched investigations as a result and Tesco launched its own internal investigation. 

The three men and a number of other Tesco employees were suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

Tesco response

In a statement, Tesco said: “We note the decision of the SFO to bring a prosecution against former colleagues in relation to historic issues and acknowledge the investigation into the company is ongoing.

“Tesco continues to co-operate with the SFO’s investigation.

“The last two years have seen an extensive programme of change at Tesco, but given this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide any further comment at this time.”

The three individuals will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 22 September.