15 August 2013
First Bribery Act 2010 prosecution announced
So the wait is over: the Serious Fraud Office announced yesterday its first Bribery Act 2010 prosecution.
According to the SFO press release, four individuals connected to Sustainable Agro Energy plc have been charged with offences of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to furnish false information. In addition three of the four individuals have also been charged with offences of making and accepting a financial advantage contrary to Section 1(1) and 2(1) of the Bribery Act 2010.
The SFO’s press release would suggest that the main focus of this case will be the fraud allegations which relate to the promotion and selling of bio fuel investment products to UK investors. The value of the alleged fraud is £23m.
However the wait is not yet over for the first prosecution of the new corporate offence under the Bribery Act 2010. The Director of the SFO said last month that it had two live investigations of companies suspected to have breached the Act: the wait may well be over sooner rather than later.