London — Three former Tesco executives deceived investors by conspiring with hundreds of suppliers to conceal a £250m hole in the grocer’s accounts, part of a scandal that wiped £2bn from the UK chain’s market value, prosecutors said at the start of the trial of two of them. Former UK chief Chris Bush and former UK commercial director John Scouler were charged in September 2016 following a two-year Serious Fraud Office investigation of Tesco’s accounting practices. Former UK finance head Carl Rogberg is unwell and is not on trial. “It’s hard to imagine a more serious situation for a public limited company,” prosecutor Sasha Wass said in the London courtroom. “Both defendants and Carl Rogberg were well aware that Tesco’s profits were being manipulated to the stock market in order to improperly inflate the profit figure.” Tesco’s board was alerted to the issue by one of Rogberg’s colleagues in 2014. The information “was like a hand grenade being thrown into the company,” Wass said. Bu...

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