Greencore managers sacked in €20m-fraud probe

Leading Irish food group Greencore has sacked three senior managers after a €20m fraud was uncovered, it was revealed today.

The money went missing after costs were deliberately concealed at its Scottish mineral water business, Campsie, over the last three years.

Greencore said the false accounts from 2006 up to last year amount to €21m.

Greencore said that the "concealment of costs" was undertaken by a former manager who left the business prior to the concealment being uncovered

The company said three managers directly responsible for the staff member blamed for the fraud have been dismissed.

Greencore said it had not uncovered a motive for the fraud, but insisted it was an isolated incident.

The three former staff members have since been replaced.

“The group is taking legal advice on what, if any, elements of this financial impact can be recovered,” the company said.

The effect of the fraud was also detailed.

“The financial implications of these issues will lead to a restatement reducing the group’s operating profit by €4m for 2006 and by €8m for 2007,” the Dublin-based company said in a statement.

“In addition, the estimated impact of this issue in 2008 will be a reduction of operating profit of €9m.”

It is also expected to hit shareholders with earnings per share down by 4 cent.

All of Greencore’s businesses will be reviewed internally with the support of accounting consultants KPMG while internal controls, financial reporting and external auditing will also be looked at.

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