In a previous article posted to this site on August 30 2019, consideration was given to Deferred Prosecution Agreements (‘DPAs’) which were introduced into the UK on the 24 February 2014.
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The Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) has now received consent to enter into a DPA with G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd (‘the company’) relating to offences which it acknowledges in connection with contracts for electronic monitoring of offenders.
Our team of solicitors has a proven track record of assisting many individuals and businesses achieve the best outcome available whatever the nature of the criminal proceedings faced. Recognised as one of the leading criminal and fraud defence firms in the country, we are top ranked in Band 1 and Tier 1 for our work in this area by both the leading legal directories Chambers UK and the Legal 500.
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The Agreed Terms | Kangs DPA Solicitors
- The company accepted responsibility for three offences of fraud against the Ministry of Justice (‘MoJ’) concerning disclosure of its true profits in 2011 and 2012.
- It was accepted by the company that profit in excess of £21million had been acquired through the fraud and which amount had previously been repaid as the result of civil proceedings.
- By entering into the DPA, no criminal charges will be pursued against the company provided the following terms are satisfied in full:
- payment of a financial penalty of £38,513,277
- payment of the SFO’s costs of £5.9 million
- compliance with an assortment of obligations, improvements and reporting requirements.
Important Considerations | Kangs SFO Defence Solicitors
In approving the DPA, the Judge had to be satisfied that it was in the interests of justice and that its terms are fair, reasonable and proportionate.
There were a number of pertinent factors for consideration:
In favour of Prosecution:
- the fraud related to an important and integral part of the Criminal Justice System;
- there was a substantial loss to the public purse;
- the company, initially, did not fully cooperate with the SFO.
In favour of the DPA were the:
- eventual cooperation with the SFO;
- age of the conduct;
- remedial measures taken;
- consequences which would follow from a conviction;
- collateral effects on the public, employees and shareholders.
In his Judgment the Judge stated:
“The intensity of the external scrutiny as set out in the DPA is greater than in any previous DPA. This is necessary and appropriate given the exposure of both G4S C&J and the parent company to government contracts. Equally, it is an important factor in providing reassurance to the SFO, to relevant government departments and to the wider public that both companies have proper controls in place to ensure the integrity of their accounting and governance processes. The DPA will last for three years during which period the compliance measures will continue and will be reviewed. This will provide further reassurance as to the conduct of G4S and G4S C&J.”
How Can We Assist? | Kangs Financial Crime Defence Solicitors
As the result of the sequence of events concerning this complicated DPA, the financial penalty was, in accordance with the options available, only discounted by 40%.
This is, in fact, only the second time that a discount lower than 50% has been applied and this reflected the delay in cooperation which the SFO experienced during the early stages of its investigation.
Accordingly, it is clear that serious consideration to cooperation with the SFO will be an important factor from the outset of an investigation in order to try and secure the best possible outcome which may include securing the maximum discount in any financial penalty which may be imposed.
Dealing with the SFO and, potentially, negotiating a DPA requires a legal team with specialist knowledge and extensive experience given the complex legal issues involved.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
Our expert 24/7 Rapid Response Police Station Team is here to assist you on 07989 521 210 should you require advice and assistance out of office hours.
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