THE Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed it has opened a criminal investigation into the accounting practices at Tesco.
It comes just a week after the troubled supermarket group announced that its profits had been overstated by £263m, even higher than its previously stated £250m.
The SFO – an independent government department responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious and complex fraud and corruption – will now look into the background of the grocer’s £118m overstatement in the first half of this year, £70m in the 2013-2014 financial year and £75m prior to that.
Tesco has already suspended eight senior executives, including UK boss Chris Bush.
City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, is already conducting its own investigation into Britain’s biggest retailer, which is withholding £2m in payments to Philip Clarke and Laurie McIlwee, its former CEO and CFO.
Deloitte recently completed its probe into the scandal – on behalf of Tesco.
Tesco shares have plummeted by half this year, while the grocer has seen a 92% fall in pre-tax profits.