Former Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke to be quizzed by Serious Fraud Office

Suzie Neuwirth
Clarke left the supermarket under a cloud last year (Source: Getty)

Former Tesco boss Philip Clarke is set to be grilled by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) as part of an investigation into the supermarket chain’s multi-million pound accounting black hole.

The UK prosecutors have also called in ex-commercial director Kevin Grace for questioning, according to people with knowledge of the matter cited by Bloomberg.

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Former UK finance director Carl Rogberg was questioned earlier this summer and ex-head of UK operations Chris Bush is also set to face a grilling, according to Bloomberg sources.

Both Tesco and the SFO declined to comment.

Tesco came under the spotlight last October, after the grocer said it had overstated its profits by £250m due to incorrectly booking payments to suppliers, a figure that has now risen to £326m.

The FTSE 100-quoted firm ended its 32-year relationship with auditor PwC as a result of the scandal, replacing it with Deloitte, while a number of senior executives were dismissed.

Clarke was ousted as chief executive last year following a string of profit warnings by the supermarket chain.

His successor, Dave Lewis, was alerted to the financial irregularities and has since altered the way the firm deals with its suppliers.

Tesco has said that it will attempt to recover the £1.22m golden goodbye it gave to Clarke, as well as a £970,880 payoff to former chief financial officer Laurie McIlwee, if they are convicted of gross misconduct.

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