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Jail For Mabey & Johnson Execs

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office said two former directors and a sales manager of bridge-building firm Mabey & Johnson Ltd were sentenced yesterday for paying kickbacks to the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein.

  • Richard Charles Edward Forsyth, 63, former managing director, was sentenced to 21 months in prison, disqualified from acting as a company director for five years, and was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £75,000.
  • David Mabey, 49, former sales director, received eight months imprisonment, disqualified from acting as a company director for two years, and was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £125,000.
  • Richard Gledhill, 64, former sales manager, to eight months imprisonment. His sentence was suspended for two years.

The three men inflated the contract price for the supply of steel bridges and disguised illegal payments that were channelled through Jordanian banks. The kickbacks amounted to over €420,000 for a contract to supply 13 steel modular bridges.

Earlier this month, Forsyth and Mabey were found guilty after a jury trial in London of making illegal payments to Iraq during 2001 and 2002 in breach of United Nations sanctions.

Gledhill’s lenient sentence reflects his cooperation with prosecutors after he pleaded guilty to U.N. sanctions offenses.

Their employer, Mabey & Johnson Ltd, was sentenced by an English court in September 2009 for overseas corruption and violations of the U.N.’s oil-for-food program. The firm paid £6.6 million in criminal fines and related assessments. It pleaded guilty to bribing officials in Jamaica and Ghana to win public contracts, and paying kickbacks to the pre-war Iraqi regime in violation of U.N. sanctions.

SFO Director Richard Alderman said the jail sentences imposed by the London court yesterday show “that the SFO is determined to go after senior corporate executives who break the law. I am pleased with the result. It sends out a very strong message from the courts on this type of offending.”

View the SFO’s February 23, 2011 release here.

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