Serious Fraud

SFO agrees tenth Deferred Prosecution Agreement – Alex Swan writes for Fraud Intelligence

An extended version of senior associate Alex Swan’s article ‘SFO agrees tenth Deferred Prosecution Agreement – good money, but do they work?‘ has been published by Fraud Intelligence, discussing the announcement by the Serious Fraud Office that Amec Foster Wheeler Energy will pay a £103m penalty in a Deferred Prosecution Agreement to settle corruption allegations.

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Another bad day for the Serious Fraud Office – but what are the broader implications?

On 26 April the SFO’s prosecution of two former directors of Serco Geografix Ltd (“SGL”) collapsed. Unsurprisingly this case has re-ignited questions as to whether the SFO is fit for purpose, but it also shines a light – again – on the contrast between the SFO’s ability to secure lucrative Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) with corporate suspects and its inability to secure convictions of the individuals whose conduct underlies the DPA.

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SFO use ‘listed asset’ provisions for the first time

It was announced on Wednesday that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has recovered half a million pounds worth of jewellery from a safe deposit box under the listed asset provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). The forfeiture is part of a civil recovery investigation arising from the Birmingham Mortgage Fraud case: a £50 million fraud investigation/prosecution that began in March 2006.[1]

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Emerging from COVID-19: an opportunity for prosecutors?

Criminal lawyers are always asked by their clients how long they think an investigation or prosecution into allegedly serious offending will take. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, in a justice system crippled by budget cuts and beset with inefficiencies, the answer would nearly always be measured in years.

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