REPORT: Ex-Tesco CEO Philip Clarke will be questioned by the Serious Fraud Office

Bloomberg is reporting that Philip Clarke, the former CEO of Tesco, is to be interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over the multimillion-pound black hole discovered on the supermarket’s balance sheet last year.

Clarke and ex-commercial director Kevin Grace are being asked to come in for interviews under caution, Bloomberg says, citing people with knowledge of the probe.

The SFO opened a probe into Tesco last October.

The supermarket announced last September that it had overstated its profits by £263 million ($US405 million). That figure has since risen to £326 million ($US503 million), according to Bloomberg.

Clarke, who was a Tesco lifer who began stacking shelves at his local supermarket in the early 1980s, was forced out as CEO last year over the scandal. His replacement Dave Lewis, who joined from Unilever, has since led a clearout of other executives who served under Clarke.

As well as the SFO probe, Tesco is facing a lawsuit from disgruntled shareholders. Accountancy watchdog the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is also probing the role of Tesco’s accountant at the time PwC in the scandal. And Britain’s grocery watchdog is also probing the UK’s largest supermarket over delayed payments to suppliers.

Tesco declined to comment.

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