Court Cases, News & what's on - Written by on Monday, December 8, 2014 14:11 - 0 Comments

Bribery an aggravator as Directors sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison

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Santa Claus MugshotThe three men convicted of Bribery Act offences in the first SFO Bribery Act prosecutions  we reported yesterday were sentenced to lengthy sentences  today at Southwark Crown Court amounting to an aggregate of 28 years in prison.

The SFO Press Reported that the Sentences handed down were:

  • Gary Lloyd West, of Hertfordshire, former Director and Chief Commercial Officer of SAE was sentenced to a total of 13 years’ imprisonment.
  • James Brunel Whale, of Sussex, former Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of SGG was sentenced to a total of 9 years’ imprisonment
  • Stuart John Stone, of Shropshire, Director of SJ Stone Ltd, a sales agent of unregulated pension and investment products was sentenced to a total of 6 years’ imprisonment.

Both Mr West and Mr Whale were disqualified from being a director for 15 years whilst Mr Stone was disqualified for 10 years.

When handing down sentence HHJ Beddoe described the fraud as a “thickening quagmire of dishonesty… there were more than 250 victims of relatively modest means some of whom had lost all of their life savings and their homes.” The judge added that the bribery was an aggravating feature.

Although the prosecution included the prosecution of Bribery Act offences, as we reported yesterday the case was a good old fashioned boiler room case.

So.

Interesting factoid of the day, as a result, the successful prosecution of the SFO’s first case resulting in Bribery Act convictions was not, it turns out, brought by the SFO’s bribery division, but instead the SFO’s fraud division.

Joint Head of Fraud Jane de Lozey commented:

“This is the first of a number of SFO cases to come to trial involving the mis-selling of investment products connected with self-invested pension plans (SIPPs) in which savers on modest incomes have tried to invest for their retirement only to find themselves the victims of fraud.  Pension scams can be difficult to detect even for experienced investors.  The SFO is working closely with partner agencies across law enforcement to tackle this type of serious economic crime.”

The SFO reports that legal proceedings to establish compensation and confiscation orders against the three defendants have commenced.

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