£250 million Tesco fraud trial discontinued after defendant suffers a heart attack

Former Tesco executives John Scouler, Carl Rogberg and Christopher Bush are on trial at Southwark Crown Court

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Former Tesco executives John Scouler, Carl Rogberg and Christopher Bush are on trial at Southwark Crown Court
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Reuters / Hannah McKay

  • The jury in a fraud trial against 3 former Tesco executives has been dismissed after one defendant suffered a heart attack.
  • Defendant Carl Rogberg had a heart attack last Thursday and remains in hospital

  • The SFO has until March to consider whether it will apply for a retrial.

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

Former Tesco UK managing director Christopher Bush, former UK finance director Carl Rogberg, and former food commercial director John Scouler were all charged with fraud by false accounting and of fraud by abuse of position.

On Tuesday Rogberg’s solicitor announced that his client had a heart attack last Thursday and remains in hospital.

“Mr Rogberg is devastated at the news that the trial has been aborted,” said Neil O’May in a statement read outside Southwark Crown Court.

“He waived his right to attend these last stages after he had given evidence himself for many days, and had participated in the last four and half months of the trial.”

“He was always very anxious that this jury should be allowed to reach its verdict and is desperately sorry that they were prevented from doing so.”

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed to Business Insider on Tuesday that the jury in the case has been discontinued. The case, which was scheduled to finish before Christmas, was beset by delays relating to administrative issues.

The trio was charged in 2016 after Tesco was found to have inflated its profits by nearly £250 million ($331 million) in 2014.

The SFO has until March to consider whether it will apply for a retrial.