SFO Brings First Bribery Act Charges in the UK - What Does This Mean for Your Company?

August 20, 2013

The Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) brought fraud related charges against three directors and one employee of Sustainable AgroEnergy plc (“SAE”), a subsidiary of Sustainable Growth Group (“SSG”) on 14 August 2013, as part of a wider investigation into an alleged £23 million “bio fuel” investment fraud.
Three of the individuals have also been charged under the Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”). These are the first charges under the Act that the SFO has brought and the charges include both giving and receiving a financial advantage (section 1 and section 2 of the Act respectively).
Three key questions for companies and senior executives will arise following this development:

  • Why has it taken so long for the SFO to bring its first charges under the Act?
  • Why was SAE not charged with the strict liability corporate offence under the Act?
  • Does this development impact the resources that a company should devote to compliance and adequate procedures?

Read "SFO Brings First Bribery Act Charges in the UK - What Does This Mean for Your Company?".