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SFO scorecard: 78% conviction rate, 16 new investigations, 30 defendants await trial

The UK Serious Fraud Office filed its annual report for the year ended March 31, 2015 with the government Tuesday.

Here’s director David Green’s foreword:

*    *     *

I present the Annual Report for the Serious Fraud Office for the reporting year 2014-15.

This year we have continued to focus upon the casework for which the Roskill model was designed. These are cases which undermine UK plc in general and the City of London in particular.

I have opened 16 new investigations in the year. These include Forex, Tesco and the Sweett Group. Our major investigations concerning LIBOR, Rolls-Royce, GlaxoSmithKline, Barclays Bank, ENRC and GPT have continued to make progress.

Our conviction rate over the year was 78% by defendant, and 18 defendants in 9 cases were successfully prosecuted. Reflecting our strategic focus, numbers may appear small, but the cases are very substantial. We completed the Innospec and Smith and Ouzman prosecutions, both resulting in the conviction of the corporate as well as senior officials in relation to foreign bribery.

We saw our first convictions under the Bribery Act, a guilty plea in one of the LIBOR cases, and the conviction of Ulf Magnus Petersen for the Weavering Capital hedge fund fraud.

We have made considerable investment in our proceeds of crime activity. This has resulted in £26.5 million ($41.3 million) in confiscation orders, and recovery of £13.7 million ($58.8 million).

Looking ahead, 30 defendants in 7 cases have been charged and await their trial. These include 12 individuals featuring in the LIBOR investigation. We are actively considering the possibility of Deferred Prosecution Agreements in a number of cases, and I am confident that this new tool will make a real difference in the SFO’s dealings with cooperative corporates.

We have continued to attract high quality recruits, to provide valuable training for our staff, to develop our intelligence capability, and to build highly constructive relationships with agencies
abroad.

The SFO is well equipped and confident as to its role and mission.

DAVID GREEN CB QC
Director
Serious Fraud Office
14 July 2015

*     *     *

The Serious Fraud Office Annual Report for 2014-2015 is here (pdf).

_________

Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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