UK Post Office: 700 Horizon software scandal victims to receive £600k each
Every post office operator whose wrongful conviction over the Horizon IT scandal has been overturned will receive £600,000 in compensation from the government, ministers have announced. The Horizon scandal, described as "The most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history", resulted in more than 700 post office operators being prosecuted between 1999 and 2015 for theft, fraud and false accounting because of faulty accounting software installed in the late 1990s. The government said the new compensation offer was in addition to paying for all reasonable legal fees, and any post office operator who does not want to accept it can continue with the existing legal process. Any post office operator who has already received initial compensation payments, or has reached a settlement with the Post Office of less than the £600,000 a head announced on Monday, will be paid the difference. The IT system, installed by the Post Office and supplied by Fujitsu, resulted in postal operators filing shortfalls in their returns and led to the Post Office suing them. As the owner of the Post Office the government is responsible for funding compensation payments. Last month, Nick Read, the chief executive of the Post Office, said he would return a bonus of £54,400 linked to the inquiry into the Horizon scandal.