Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime - Written by on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 13:16 - 0 Comments

Another SFO success. Bruce Hall sentenced and subject to aggressive use of UK money laundering laws by SFO.

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david-bioThe SFO had another success yesterday…

Bruce Hall a witness in the Dahdaleh trial which collapsed late last year was given a prison sentence for his part in a corruption scheme.  It was previously reported that in the wake of the collapsed Dahdelah trial Mr. Hall wished to withdraw his guilty plea.

That did not happen.

Mr Hall was charged with the following corruption offences in February 2012:

Conspiracy to corrupt contrary to Section 1, Criminal Law Act 1977 and Section 1, Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
Corruption contrary to Section 1, Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
Acquiring and transferring criminal property contrary to Sections 329(1) and 327(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

He pleaded guilty on 27 June 2012 to the first charge above, namely that of conspiracy to corrupt.  The additional two charges that Mr Hall did not enter pleas for will lie on file and will not be proceeded with.

Mr. Hall was sentenced to 16 months in prison for conspiracy to corrupt, in relation to contracts for the supply of goods and services to a Bahraini company, Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba).  Mr Hall served as CEO of Alba, from September 2001 to June 2005.

The prison sentence took into account that Mr Hall had cooperated with numerous authorities throughout the investigation.  Without cooperation Mr Hall could have faced around six years in prison, the judge said.

The SFO press release reported:

“Judge Loraine-Smith, who presided over the hearing, heard how Mr Hall received £2.9 million in corrupt payments between 2002 and 2005, including 10,000 Bahraini dinars in cash from Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family and at the time Bahrain’s minister of finance and Alba’s chairman. The payments were made in exchange for Mr Hall agreeing to and allowing corrupt arrangements that Sheikh Isa had been involved in before Mr Hall’s appointment as CEO to continue.”

The sentence has received plenty of coverage.

What has received less attention was the use of the UK money laundering legislation.

The SFO press release continued:

“As a result of these corrupt payments, Mr Hall will need to pay a confiscation order of £3,070,106.03 in seven days or face serving an additional term of imprisonment of 10 years.  Mr Hall must, in addition to the confiscation order, pay Alba compensation in the amount of £500,010 and pay £100,000 as a contribution to prosecution costs.”

16 months jail time may be considered by some to be a lenient sentence.  But, a confiscation order of more than £3 million in 7 days or an extra 10 years jail time isn’t.

We have previously warned that the UK money laundering laws were the other side of the UK’s anti-corruption law.

But.

The use of the UK money laundering legislation did not end there.

Mr Hall’s also agreed to divest himself of other corrupt payments he received, the SFO press release reported.

In order to recover these payments received by Mr Hall, which amount to US$900,000, the SFO once again used Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the High Court. Details are contained in the claim form to launch proceedings under part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Consent Order sealed by the High Court.

We ran into David Green this morning, on our way to an early meeting.  He had a spring in his step.

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