Friday 9 September 2016 by Tommy Charles

Tesco directors charged with fraud after putting £263m through self-checkout as ‘Carrots’

Tesco profit fraud

Three former Tesco directors have been charged with fraud amounting to over £263m after putting an excessive number of Tesco Finest items through self-checkout tills as “carrots”.

The scheme took place between February and September 2014, according to the Serious Fraud Office and was orchestrated by some of the most senior figures at the supermarket chain.

An SFO statement read: “While this type of fraud is well known to occur in supermarkets with self-service tills, we have never before seen anything on this scale.

“Occasionally, customers will put the odd joint of beef through the self-checkout as onions or perhaps a jar of honey as a potato, but we don’t see systematic scams costing millions of pounds.

“It has been difficult to bring this to charge, but we fully expect a conviction in this case.”

A lawyer for the accused men responded to the charge, saying: “My clients strenuously deny these allegations.”

“All three men are connoisseurs of root vegetables, particularly the noble carrot, which has many proven health benefits.

“One of the men can even see in the dark, he doesn’t even have lights at home.”

Prosecutors are expected to draw on damning evidence including stock information and CCTV footage purporting to show the men weighing the premium items on the tills before inserting a few coins and leaving the store.

Tesco refused to be drawn on the specifics of the case as it was “an ongoing legal matter” but stressed that they had taken extra measures to combat this type of fraud.

“We remind anyone thinking of defrauding us in this manner that it will not be tolerated and we’ll know if you nick the bloody 5p bags as well.”

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