Ahold fraud appeal opens today

Three former executives at supermarket group Ahold begin their appeal against suspended jail sentences on Monday in connection with the biggest accounting fraud in Dutch financial history.

CEO Cees van der Hoeven, CFO Michiel Meurs and board member Jan Andreae were given suspended jail terms and fines of up to €225,000 in May 2006 for their role in the scandal, which almost led to the company’s collapse. Former supervisory board member Roland Fahlin was found not guilty.
The scandal broke in February 2003 when Ahold announced it had to restate its 2001 and 2002 figures because of serious financial irregularities at its US division US Food Service. Van der Hoeven and Meurs resigned and Ahold had to be bailed out by bank loans.
In 2005 Ahold reached an out of court settlement of $1.1bn with shareholders who lost money when the company’s share price plunged. US Food Service has since been sold.
A ruling on the appeal is not due until November, news agency ANP reports.

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