July 26, 2016

Court agrees to deal between business and fraud investigators

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has this month announced a second deferred prosecution agreement which will see a firm pay more than £6million for corruption and bribery offences.

The deal was reached between the unnamed company and SFO officials and was approved by Lord Justice Leveson earlier this month.

The counterparty has at present only been identified as “a UK SME”, with the SFO having said that the firm cannot be named as a result of related legal proceedings which are still ongoing.

The suspended charges relate to an eight year period starting in 2004, during which time a number of the company’s employees and agents were involved in the offer and payment of bribes in order to secure contracts abroad.

This activity triggered a lengthy investigation by officials at the SFO.

David Green QC, the SFO’s director, said: “This case raised the issue about how the interests of justice are served in circumstances where the company accused of criminality has limited financial means with which to fulfill the terms of a DPA but demonstrates exemplary co-operation.

“This case provides a clear example to corporates. The judgment sets out the considerations in detail and endorses the approach we took.”

Lord Justice Leveson said: “[This conclusion] provides an example of the value of self-report and co-operation along with the introduction of appropriate compliance mechanisms, all of which can only improve corporate attitudes to bribery and corruption.”

For advice on the Bribery Act and companies’ obligations under the legislation please contact Claus Andersen or visit.

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