UK fraud prosecutor confirms criminal investigation into Tesco

John Phillips | UK Press | Getty Images

Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed on Wednesday it had formally launched a criminal investigation into accounting practices at Tesco Plc, Britain's largest retailer.

The financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), promptly confirmed it was discontinuing its own separate investigation with immediate effect following a consultation with the SFO.

Tesco, which has suffered a string of recent profit warnings and management exits, is being investigated after the retailer overstated first-half profits by $263 million pounds (424 million).

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