£250m Tesco accounting fraud trial abandoned

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Mr Rogberg, once the retailer's United Kingdom finance director, and two other men - Chris Bush and John Scouler - have denied charges of fraud by abuse of position and false accounting at Southwark Crown Court.

The judge dealing the trial, Deborah Taylor sent the jury home this Tuesday, suggesting it was not "right and proper" to continue with the prosecution while Rogberg is at the hospital waiting for a bypass surgery.

During the trial, which began in September after months of delays, the court heard the three men were accused of "cooking the books" by bringing forward income not yet earned to artificially inflate Tesco's figures.

It can now be reported that Carl Rogberg, who is 51, was taken ill last Thursday and is currently in hospital awaiting heart surgery after three blockages were found.

The trial began in September and it is estimated it has already cost more than £5 million to the taxpayer.

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Rogberg is facing trial at Southwark Crown Court together with ex-colleagues Chris Bush and John Scoul.

The SFO has until March to consider whether it will apply for a retrial. "It is not simply a question of wasted costs on all sides, but the devastating effect on the lives of the defendants", Alison Geary, counsel in WilmerHale's United Kingdom investigations & criminal litigation practice, said.

The Tesco case centred on its September 2014 announcement to the stock exchange that its profit forecast had been overstated by £250 million, mainly due to booking commercial deals with suppliers too early. The revelation wiped about 2 billion pounds from Tesco's market value.

The jury in a fraud trial against 3 former Tesco executives has been dismissed after one defendant suffered a heart attack.

But instead she discharged the jury after telling them: "Thank you once again for your patience". Mr Bush did not comment beyond saying in a statement: "All my thoughts are with Carl and his family and I wish him a speedy recovery".

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