16 March 2007
Attorney general to reform fraud laws
The attorney general Lord Goldsmith has announced a series of law reforms to crack down on fraud.
Lord Goldsmith yesterday set out a raft of new measures to tackle fraud including American-style plea bargains, which enable defendants to plead guilty in return for a chance of a shorter jail sentence, and the abolition of juries in fraud cases.
Jail sentences for perpetrators will also be extended to ten to 15 years and a centralised body, the National Fraud Strategic Authority will be established.
Commenting on the reforms on the Today programme, he said: "I think it is very important to understand just how much damage this causes to all of us as taxpayers, as consumers, and actually as victims of fraud which can lead and has led to suicides in a number of cases."
News of Lord Goldsmith’s reforms come in the week that a survey from the Association of Chief Police Officers found that fraud costs Britons £20 billion in 2005, with fraud in the public sector alone accounting for £6.4 billion.