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Ex-Tesco boss escapes fraud charges

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THE FORMER chief executive of Tesco, Philip Clarke, won’t face fraud charges over the £263m accounting irregularities at the supermarket, according to reports.

Unlike some of his former colleagues who will face charges of fraud in Southwark Crown Court next September, the former boss, who left before the accounting scandal was uncovered, won’t be prosecuted.

It has been reported that his lawyer David Corker, partner of law firm Corker Binning, said the Serious Fraud Office had written to him stating that Clarke won’t face charges of fraud.

The letter is reported to say that there was “insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction”.

A spokesman for the SFO said the investigation into Tesco’s accounting irregularities continues and it would “reconsider our position if further evidence comes to light”.

Three former Tesco executives, including the former finance director of Tesco UK, have been charged with fraud and false accounting in relation to the £263m accounting scandal at the supermarket chain.

Former Tesco CFO Laurie McIlwee, who headed the group’s finances until resigning four months before the scandal emerged, saw an SFO probe into his role scrapped.

In September 2014 Tesco revealed that it had identified a £250m overstatement of first half profits, mainly due to the way it accounted for deals with commercial suppliers. The overstatement was later increased to £263m.

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