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Tesco three charged with Fraud by SFO - This gives a timescale for Rob Terry

By Tom Winnifrith | Friday 9 September 2016

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has today charged three individuals, Carl Rogberg, 49, Christopher Bush, 50, and John Scouler, 48, with one count of Fraud by Abuse of Position, contrary to section 1 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 and one count of False Accounting contrary to s17 Theft Act 1968. These are the first charges brought against folks at Tesco (TSCO) for cooking its books. The timescale is fascinating for those interested in the fate of Rob Terry and the other Quenron fraudsters...

The alleged crimes took place between February 2014 and September 2014 and the investigation, which is still ongoing, started in October 2014. The three alleged fraudsters will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 22 September 2016.
This alleged fraud is actually relatively simple and was a mere £263 million. The Quindell fraud is materially larger and far more complex. The SFO opened its investigation, which is still ongoing, into Quindell on 5th August 2015 although I am aware that preliminary enquiries were taking place a lot earlier.

The point is that if Rob Terry, Larry Morse, Rob Fielding, reality TV star Jon Stretton Knowles and the other Quindell crooks had thought the SFO had given up they are very much mistaken. Interviews are taking place but the SFO will take its time. If it works on the same timescale as Tesco Terry et al will not be in the dock until next summer.

But it is a when not an if and I shall be there in the gallery with my knitting needles waiting for the tumbrils to remove the guilty men for there is likely to be a trial. I refer you to a speech given on Monday by Sir David Green of the SFO in Cambridge:

By statute I can only open a criminal investigation if I have reasonable grounds to suspect an offence of serious or complex fraud or bribery. In all cases, our intelligence section (comprising lawyers, investigators and analysts, in which we have made significant investment) will take the necessary time to dig into the facts and produce an evaluation. This pre-investigation phase is vital, and we don’t supply running commentaries.

We do not announce new investigations unless a company, for instance, has to inform the market or there is some other good reason, such as encouraging witnesses to come forward. Those we have announced include Airbus, Soma Oil, UnaOil and Quindell.

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