Thursday, October 13, 2016 6:46
Opinion: New UK govt crackdown on ‘corporate irresponsibility’ to be underpinned by biggest change to corporate criminal law in history
Speaking at the G20 earlier this week Theresa May highlighted the issue of corporate irresponsibility in society as a key theme of her leadership. Our sources confirm the same. If there was any doubt at the Cambridge Economic Crime symposium this week this policy message was supported in a trio of speeches from law enforcement leaders. In a speech Jeremy Wright, Attorney General said: “…as you may have noticed we have a new Prime Minister, and her commitment to tackling economic crime and corporate responsibility is evident. The Prime Minister has spoken of her intention to “get tough on irresponsible behaviour in big business…” The Government remains committed to tackling economic crime and corruption in all its forms….” “…there is more to do in our response…. … the Government will soon consult on plans to extend the scope of the criminal offence of a corporation ‘failing to prevent’ offending beyond bribery to other economic crimes, such as money ...
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By Tom Stocker, Partner, Corporate Crime & Investigations, Pinsent Masons LLP Yesterday, two former employees of Edinburgh Council and two directors of a construction company received significant jail sentences for bribery contrary to The Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 (the legislation that pre-dates the Bribery Act 2010). The council employees helped award contracts to Edinburgh Action Building Contracts Ltd (ABC Ltd) and in return they received extensive hospitality including corporate seats at Hibs and Hearts football grounds, meals out and visits to lap dancing bars as well as cash. Invoices were then inflated to cover the cost of the hospitality. The charges related to the maintenance of council buildings from 2006 to 2010. Council worker Charles Owenson was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months for accepting bribes. The sentencing Sheriff considered that, despite Mr Owenson's guilty plea, the plea-in-mitigation put forward on his behalf demonstrated that Mr Owenson had not accepted ...
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News & what’s on
Deals risk grinding to a halt as cash strapped Police ask for 6 months to act on tips offs under new laws
Under draft proposals set out in the Criminal Finance Bill published today Law Enforcement Agencies are to be given six months to act on tip offs provided by banks and members of the public during which time any transaction would be stalled (or most likely killed). Under present rules Banks, firms and in some cases businesses are obliged to tip off law enforcement if they suspect their customers may be engaging in suspicious transactions. Under the current regime most tip offs are dealt with in a week. However if the Police need more time they can have up to an extra month while any transaction is put on hold to take action. Under proposed new rules it is planned that the Police could be given an extra six months (or 186 days) to look at tip offs while any deal is put on hold. The proposals affect everyone ranging from someone buying a home up ...
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- At her Majesty’s pleasure. A right royal bribery scheme ends in convictions and prison “for quite a long time…”.
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Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime
By Laura Dunseath, Senior Associate, Pinsent Masons LLP Judicial approval was given on 8 July to the SFO's second deferred prosecution agreement which is against a UK SME (with a US parent) known for now as XYZ Ltd. The SME cannot currently be named to protect related proceedings. Since the SFO's declaration that the Standard Bank DPA, which was approved last November, set the benchmark for all future agreements, DPAs were in very real danger of becoming unfit for purpose and an over-hyped white elephant. The XYZ DPA has achieved a very welcome step back in the right direction, but it still does not go far enough to truly accomplish the Government's stated aims of incentivizing companies to self-report and co-operate with the authorities. Speaking about the latest DPA David Green said: SFO Director David Green CB QC said: “This case raised the issue about how the interests of justice are served in circumstances where the ...
More In Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime
- Civil Settlement for Scottish Company which self-reported violations of Section 1 & Section 7 of the Bribery Act highlights difference of approach North of the Border
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Your Questions: Answered
Question My company has entered into various contracts over the years with FIFA. I read with alarm last week the news stories about the arrests of FIFA officials in Switzerland. The US has signalled more arrests are likely and the Swiss prosecutor is also investigating. Should I be worried that my business may be drawn into the FIFA investigation and should I be doing anything now? Yours, Anon. The short answer Expect more revelations. So far the enforcement action in the public domain focusses on the alleged bribe recipients – expect the suspected bribe payers to be targeted next and under the full glare of publicity. A head in the sand approach is never the best option. Businesses who have negotiated licencing deals etc. with FIFA would be well advised to run some basic checks (speak to a lawyer before you do to make sure the checks don’t create legal problems) to confirm their deals are not tainted. The longer ...
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