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Account Freezing and Forfeiture Orders: is the FCA waking up to its investigative powers?   

The author and editors would like to thank Eben Kurtz for his contributions to this post. On 21 April 2022, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) secured its first Account Forfeiture Order (“AFO”), a tool used for asset recovery under Part 5 of Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (”POCA”), for a sum of £2,000,000 against … Continue Reading

Law Commission Proposes Reforms to Corporate Criminal Liability in the UK

The proposal outlines 10 possible ways to bolster UK corporate criminal liability. The UK Law Commission, has published their proposals (the Options Paper) to overhaul criminal law as it applies to companies in the UK. The Law Commission is an independent commission created by Parliament to keep UK law under review and to recommend reforms. … Continue Reading

The UK’s OFSI provides guidance on strict liability sanctions breach penalties

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), part of HM Treasury, which is the authority for implementing financial sanctions in the UK, have published guidance to clarify how they will use their new powers to impose civil monetary penalties for sanctions breaches on a strict liability basis from Monday 15 June 2022.  The full message … Continue Reading

Responding to Financial Crime Risks during COVID-19

Over the past few months, numerous organizations and agencies—including the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, UK Financial Conduct Authority, Dubai Financial Services Authority, and U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network—have stressed the need to preserve the integrity and security of the global payments system during and after the pandemic.… Continue Reading

Australia Plans to Join U.S. and U.K. in the CLOUD Act

Following its agreement with the United Kingdom, the United States announces formal negotiations are underway with Australia about joining the CLOUD Act. Although also a bi-lateral negotiation, the U.S. talks with Australia strike a more practical tone than those with the U.K.… Continue Reading

U.S. and U.K. Ease Data Collection Across Borders

Saying it will accelerate complex investigations, the United States and the United Kingdom proposed an historic data exchange agreement. In future, each government will be able to obtain electronic data directly from technology companies in the other country. The governments also say this first of its kind agreement will protect privacy and enhance civil liberties.… Continue Reading

Fugitive Diamantaire Faces Extradition from UK to India

A UK court recently fixed a remand hearing in the extradition case of Nirav Modi, a fugitive diamond merchant and the prime accused in a USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. After Vijay Mallya (Indian businessman) and Sanjeev Chawla (alleged cricket bookie), Mr. Modi’s case is the third in a series of … Continue Reading

Britain Lifts Veil of Financial Secrecy for Overseas Territories

The UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act signifies major changes to the UK’s anti-money laundering and sanctions regimes. Britain’s overseas territories, often criticized as tax havens, are now required to establish public registries of beneficial corporate ownership by December 31, 2020. The Act also includes a Magnitsky Amendment, modeled on U.S. law, enabling sanctions against … Continue Reading

DPA Regime a Landmark Change to Singaporean Law

A recent landmark change to Singapore’s criminal justice system providing for Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”), or voluntary alternatives to adjudication, should increase corporate accountability for acts of bribery, corruption, and money laundering.… Continue Reading

Serious Fraud Office: Apparent Renewed Faith

In the first part of this two-part post, we looked at some of the infamous cases that may explain repeated attempts by Theresa May, first as Home Secretary and later as Prime Minister, to dismantle the SFO, see here. Our attentions now turn to the important role the SFO continues to play in combatting corruption, … Continue Reading

Serious Fraud Office: Boost to Coffers Is Vote of Confidence

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) recently received an unexpected, yet significant, increase in baseline funding for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The funding boost comes in spite of Prime Minister Theresa May’s previous efforts, following several high-profile prosecutorial setbacks for the SFO, to fold it into the UK’s National Crime Agency (“NCA”). Relatedly, a new … Continue Reading

2018 – Problem and Promise of Cryptocompliance in Europe

In the first part of this three-part post, we examined “cryptocompliance” as an emerging focus of various Asian regulators, click here. Next, we analyze European (and intergovernmental) attitudes. As will become clear, there is perhaps a healthy blend on display between “cryptocaution” and “cryptofriendliness.” Countries such as the UK and France are making an effort … Continue Reading

Criminal Finances Act 2017 – New Corporate Offences of Failing to Prevent Facilitation of Tax Evasion

The United Kingdom’s National Risk Assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing in October 2015 identified three priority risks faced by the UK and concluded that a more robust enforcement response is required. These changes were to be underpinned by a partnership between the government and the private sector to effect a significant change in … Continue Reading

Rolls-Royce Set to Avoid Prosecution After Bribery Settlement

Rolls-Royce has agreed to pay £671 million in penalties in response to several long-running bribery and corruption investigations.  Regulators in the UK, the United States and Brazil investigated claims that Rolls-Royce had paid bribes to intermediaries to secure high-value export contracts in a number of overseas markets, including China, Brazil and Indonesia. In a press … Continue Reading

Serious Fraud Office Publishes New Guidance on the Presence of Lawyers at Section 2 Criminal Interviews

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has published new guidance on the presence of lawyers at section 2 interviews in criminal investigations conducted under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987, typically with potential witnesses. The SFO guidance follows the decision of R (Lord and Others) v SFO[1], in which it was ruled that the … Continue Reading

The Act on Fighting Corruption in the Healthcare Sector

On 29 July 2015, the German government introduced a legislative initiative with the aim of fighting corruption in the healthcare sector. On 4 June 2016, the German Act on Fighting Corruption in the Healthcare Sector (Gesetz zur Bekämpfung der Korruption im Gesundheitswesen – Act) entered into effect under which the criminal offences of taking and … Continue Reading

Bribery in Scotland – Civil Settlement Under Bribery Act and the Scottish Crown Office

On September 25 2015, Brand-Rex Limited, a Scottish network cabling company, entered into a civil settlement with the Scottish Crown Office, admitting that the company had failed to prevent bribery and had received an improper benefit in violation of Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, which applies to the whole of the United Kingdom. … Continue Reading

Fighting Corruption and Fraud- the ICU and SFO

The United Kingdom’s regime against bribery, corruption and fraud is operating in a new landscape following the introduction in August 2015 of the International Corruption Unit (ICU), a new governmental agency created under the auspices of the Department for International Development (DFID). The latest step in the clampdown on nefarious business practices came as the … Continue Reading

First Company Convicted of Bribing Foreign Officials Ordered to pay £2.2 million

Smith and Ouzman Ltd and two of its directors, were convicted by a Jury under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 (POCA) in December 2014, although the company was finally sentenced on 8 January 2016. The company was convicted under the previous legislation because the offences pre-dated the Bribery Act 2010. The small family run … Continue Reading

Deferred Prosecution Agreements: The Sign of Things to Come?

In a landmark decision, the first Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) was approved  on Monday at the Royal Courts of Justice, by Lord Justice Leveson.  The DPA was introduced as a means of alternative disposal following a criminal investigation into a corporate organisation back in February 2014, under the Crime and Courts Act 2013[1]. It is … Continue Reading

UK Government makes U-turn on the reform of corporate criminal liability

In September 2014, the new Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, revealed that the government was considering introducing a new offence of corporate failure to prevent economic crime, such as fraud and money laundering, similar to the corporate offence in the UK Bribery Act 2010 of an organisation failing to prevent bribery. In its UK Anti-Corruption Plan, … Continue Reading

Cooperation is Key – Scottish Company receives civil penalty for contravention of Bribery Act

Brand-Rex Limited, a Scottish company specialising in developing cabling solutions for network infrastructure and industrial applications, has become the first UK Company to be penalised for contravention of Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. The company avoided criminal prosecution and was instead ordered to pay £212,800 by way of a civil recovery order after … Continue Reading
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