Tesco share price falls after being fined £129m by Serious Fraud Office and shelling out £85m to investors in compensation

Blown over? Tesco may hope today’s announcement draws a line under the 2014 accounting scandal (Source: Getty)

Tesco has been fined £129m by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for false accounting between February and September 2014.

Shares in the group fell nearly one per cent in opening trading this morning.

The supermarket giant has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the SFO. This means the group will not be prosecuted on condition it fulfills certain requirements, including payment of the fine.

Financial regulators have conducted a separate investigation into market abuse allegations over a trading statement issued on 29 August 2014.

Tesco has agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) a compensation scheme for purchasers of shares between 29 August 2014 and 19 September 2014 inclusive.

The compensation is estimated to cost Tesco £85m, with accountants from KPMG appointed to administer proceedings.

The FCA is not levying a direct penalty onto Tesco.

The total cost in relation to both the SFO and FCA investigations will be £235m and concludes both parties’ investigation into Tesco as a corporate entity.

Separately in September, three former Tesco executives were charged individually with fraud by the SFO in relation to its accounting scandal.

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