Court validates proposal for deferred prosecution agreement between SFO and Tesco


The Court (Sir Brian Leveson P) has validated a proposal for a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in relation to the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into the conduct of Tesco Stores regarding the misstatement of its profits 2014.

Following the discovery that Tesco had overstated its profits in 2014, the SFO charged three defendants in 2016 with one count of fraud by abuse of position and one count of false accounting. All three defendants were found not guilty and following the acquittal of the third defendant, the former Tesco director Carl Rogberg, reporting restrictions around the agreed DPA were lifted. Under the DPA, Tesco agreed to pay a £129m fine and £3m investigation costs. It also agreed to undertake and implement an ongoing compliance programme during the three-year term of the DPA. The Court was satisfied that the disposal of the investigation by means of a DPA (in which Tesco accepted responsibility for false accounting practices) is in the interests of justice and that its terms are fair, reasonable and proportionate.

Clare Montgomery QC was involved in this case.