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Harry Cassin
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David Green: Why do SFO investigations take so long?

The director of the UK Serious Fraud Office spoke Monday at the annual Cambridge Economic Crime Symposium at Jesus College.

One question David Green answered is why SFO cases take so long to conclude.

He said,

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The sheer quantity of data is vast; obstacles, technical or legal, must be overcome.

Claims of privilege may have to be tested.

Witnesses and suspects must be identified.

Some individuals and some companies choose to cooperate, others choose not to do so.

But we get there: our five-year investigation into the conduct of UK-based subsidiaries of the French giant Alstom has come to an end with three indictments against eight defendants: two corporates and six individuals, focusing on international bribery and corruption.

The real point is this: these are exactly the sort of cases for which the SFO was designed, and the SFO will not give up and walk away or act in a way which rewards obduracy. Some corporates and their advisors need to take that on board.

Overall: currently thirty-two defendants, individual and corporate, are charged and awaiting trial in eight cases.

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David Green’s full remarks to the 33rd Cambridge Economic Crime Symposium at Jesus College on September 7, 2015 are here.


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

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