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The New York Times reports that in the UK, the Serious Fraud Office has launched a criminal investigation into account irregularities at Tesco, where it has been acknowledged that the company and its former senior executives deliberately obfuscated its actual financial condition and issued and misleading financial statements. The company has disclosed that the early booking of revenue and delayed recognition of costs resulted in an overstatement of profit projections by more than $400 million (US), which has led to the stepping down of eight executives and the resignation of the company's chairman as both internal and governmental investigations proceed.

Tesco already was being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK's top financial watchdog, but the criminal probe now will supersede it. And, Tesco has launched an internal probe into the accounting issues, while at the same time suspending some eight executives while not accusing anyone of fraud.
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