12 March 2013
It would be easier to understand if the SFO simply explained what it thinks the possible conflict arising from its use of Autonomy software might be. From an SFO press release today (our emphasis):
“As has been widely reported, allegations have been made to the SFO about the circumstances of the sale in 2011 of Autonomy to Hewlett Packard. The Director of the Serious Fraud Office has decided to open an investigation into those allegations, with a view to using its powers of investigation to allow them to be tested. It is, of course, right to point out that the opening of a criminal investigation does not mean that individuals are guilty of a crime or indeed that a crime has been committed.
It has also been reported that the SFO uses an Autonomy product, Introspect, as a document management tool. The SFO is keen to ensure that there is now no conflict of interest, or perception of such a conflict and it is obliged as a first step to make inquiries to ensure that it can continue as the investigating body. It is undertaking this work at present.
The SFO will make no further comment whilst its investigation is underway.”
14 December 2012
The Serious Fraud Office announced today that it is bringing criminal charges against Magnus Peterson, founder of hedge fund Weavering Capital.
The SFO had dropped its investigation into Weavering, but re-opened it in July 2012 under its new director David Green QC, as we reported here.
The SFO’s initial decision to drop the case was particularly odd given the Cayman Grand Court’s civil findings against two of the fund’s directors – discussed in this post – and the UK High Court’s finding in a civil case that Magnus Peterson had committed fraud and breached his duties of care, as we covered in this post.
See also: FSA seeks to ban hedge fund chief and fine him £3 million
11 December 2012
SFO press release today:
“Today the Serious Fraud Office, with the assistance of the City of London Police, executed search warrants at three residential premises in Surrey (1) and Essex (2). Three men, aged 33, 41 and 47, have been arrested and taken to a London police station for interview in connection with the investigation into the manipulation of LIBOR. The men are all British nationals currently living in the United Kingdom.”
See also: Alleged LIBOR manipulation – collection of posts
7 December 2012
Rolls-Royce announcement, 6 December 2012:
Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has passed information to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) relating to concerns about bribery and corruption
involving intermediaries in overseas markets.
This follows a request for information from the SFO about allegations of
malpractice in Indonesia and China. Investigations by Rolls-Royce have
identified matters of concern in these, and in other overseas markets.
The consequence of these disclosures will be decided by the regulatory
authorities. It is too early to predict the outcomes, but these could include
the prosecution of individuals and of the company. We will cooperate fully.
Rolls-Royce has significantly strengthened its compliance procedures in recent
years, including a new Global Ethics Code and a new Intermediaries Policy. It
has also expanded the Compliance function. As a further measure, Rolls-Royce
will appoint an independent senior figure who will lead a review of current
procedures and report to the Ethics Committee of the Board.
See also: SFO publishes revised Bribery Act policies on facilitation payments, hospitality and corporate self-reporting
29 November 2012
HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate published its report on the SFO on 20 November 2012. The report can be read here; the accompanying press release is here. From the press release:
“The inspection found significant process failures and other weaknesses, which the agency needs to address to improve performance. The Inspectorate also identifies strengths, for example in analysis and presentation of evidence.
The report makes eight recommendations, all of which the new SFO Director, David Green QC, has accepted. Changes instigated in the past few months have begun to address the issues of concern.”
These posts capture some of the reasons why the SFO was inspected.
15 November 2012
Paragraphs 9 to 13 of this Judgment on Costs (via FT Alphaville) pull no punches as to the High Court’s view of the conduct of the former director of the Serious Fraud Office in the Tchenguiz case.
For more on the SFO’s humiliation, see here.
17 October 2012
The Serious Fraud Office has added a new page of “useful links” to its pages on the Bribery Act 2010.
16 October 2012
Yesterday the Serious Fraud Office dropped its investigation in the collapse of Kaupthing Bank and abandoned its case against Robert Tchenguiz. This completes this disastrous episode for the SFO – or maybe not, as both Tchenguiz brothers are expected to seek damages from the agency.
See also: SFO drops disastrous investigation into Vincent Tchenguiz; never got into Annabel’s
Serious Fraud Office apologises to Tchenguiz
SFO to be investigated as it lectures business leaders on “tone from the top”
28 September 2012
Law firm McGuire Woods reports (unsourced) that the Director of the SFO has allayed some concerns about the impact of the Bribery Act 2010 on corporate hospitality, quoting Mr Green as saying:
“We are not interested in that sort of case. We are interested in hearing that a large company has mysteriously come second in bidding for a big contract. The sort of bribery we would be investigating would not be tickets to Wimbledon or bottles of champagne. We are not the “serious champagne office”.”
McGuire Woods article here.
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