Tesco fraud trial: Whistleblower had tried to warn of hole in accounts

Alys Key
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Carl Rogberg is one of three accused of "cooking the books" in 2014 (Source: Getty)

A member of Tesco’s finance team repeatedly tried to raise concerns over the company’s accounting practices but was ignored, a court heard yesterday.

Speaking at the trial of former executives Carl Rogberg, John Scouler and Christopher Bush, whistleblower Amit Soni said employees of the supermarket had faced mounting pressure to meet targets in 2014, as the food business met with increasing competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Read more: Tesco fraud trial: False accounting practices led staff to quit, court told

The prosecution in the action against the three men, who are all charged with fraud and false accounting, said Soni had been ignored in his attempts to warn colleagues about the growing hole in the accounts as income was “pulled forward”, meaning it was recorded too early in results.

The charges relate to accounting practices at Tesco during 2014, when profit estimates were overstated by about £250m. The resulting drop in Tesco's share price when the overstatement was revealed wiped more than £2bn off the company's value.

Soni eventually compiled a report for the Tesco board shedding light on the false accounting practices. He is expected to continue testifying in the case this week. The trial continues.

Read more: Former Tesco executives "misled" the stock market, court told

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