Dr Alf is right, the Serious Fraud Office are under-resourced and lack the intellectual firepower in the form of younger and more experienced forensic accountants, plus fully-trained, more mature Chartered Accountants, with hard-nosed commercial-experience to effectively investigate anyone.
Private Eye the satirical and investigative magazine has called them the “Serious Farce Office” for as long as they have been in existence.
Companies during the 1980s, 1990s and since have employed all sorts of financial “re-engineering” to reduce losses, transmute losses into profit, remove debts from balance sheets, bring non-existent sales to life etc.
This lack of transparency and honesty with the figures is as a result of people bowing to City pressure for instant results and to a desire of Chief Executives to justify their inflated salaries by making results look better than they really, are and boosting the share price at the same time.
Whilst Philip Clarke should be looked at, so should the rest of the board who are collectively responsible, and if he is guilty of “wrongful trading ”, then all of them are. Also I sense that Tesco is not really different to many other large companies?
The test to prove “wrongful trading ” or “accounting fraud” or “share price manipulation” is set fairly high and the record of the authorities in bringing miscreants to book is abysmal, as I suspect it is meant to be.