Trial of former Ahold CFO begins

The fraud trial of Michiel Meurs, the former chief financial officer at
Dutch-based food retailer Ahold, is set to begin today in Amsterdam.

Meurs will stand trial alongside former Ahold boss Cees van der Hoeven and
two other executives three years after the company nearly collapsed in one of
Europe’s largest financial scandals.

Van der Hoeven and Meurs resigned in February 2003 after the company made the
fraud known. This led to Ahold restating earnings for 2002 to a 4.33bn euro
(?2.96bn) loss, with much of the over inflated sales occurring at Ahold’s US
Foodservice subsidiary.

The other defendents on trial are Roland Fahlin, a former Ahold board member
who was chairman of the company’s bookkeeping committee, and Jan Andreae, the
company’s former manager for European activities outside the Netherlands.

The men have already reached a settlement with the SEC in which they admitted
no guilt but accepted a lifetime ban from holding office in a publicly traded

All the defendants deny any wrongdoing in the near collapse of Ahold.

Related reading