Wickes financial controller cleared of fraud
Wickes' former group financial controller has been cleared of fraud charges after a long-standing trial involving other former executives.
A judge at Southwark Crown Court ruled yesterday there was no case against George Battersby, former group financial controller at DIY retailer Wickes.
Battersby was one of five company executives charged with fraudulent trading and false statements in the case which began in January.
The prosecution told the court the five men had infringed accounting rules by securing upfront payments or rebates from suppliers and included them in the audited profits almost immediately, instead of spreading them out over a longer period, as required by the rules.
The prosecution also claimed the scheme was concealed from auditors at Andersen with a ‘two-letter system,’ creating two sets of paperwork.
The fraud, which allegedly took place between January 1994 and June 1996, falsely inflated Wickes’ profits by £22m.