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Category Archives: White collar

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OFSI Finds Its Teeth While OFAC Continues to Enforce Against Non-U.S. Corporates

Posted in criminal law, GT Alert, International Trade, White collar
The UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the body tasked by the UK Treasury to administer and enforce financial sanctions in the UK, has issued its biggest monetary penalty to date, against the UK arm of an international telecommunications company for breaching sanctions imposed on a Syrian entity. The £146,341 monetary penalty was issued against… Continue Reading

‘Above & Beyond’? Serious Fraud Office Issues Corporate Co-Operation Guidance – Part I

Posted in Corporate, criminal law, GT Alert, Serious Fraud Office, sfo, White collar
The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has issued its long-awaited guidance on corporate co-operation. For the first time in one place, the SFO has set out what in its view are ‘indicators of good [co-operation] practice’ for companies under investigation. This is a helpful clarification. In its own words the SFO defines co-operation as going… Continue Reading

Beware of Strangers Bearing Gifts: UK ‘Business Integrity Initiative’ Aims to Support the Anti-Corruption Efforts of SMEs

Posted in Bribery Act 2010, Corporate, criminal law, Government, GT Alert, International Trade, National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office, sfo, White collar
The UK government’s Anti-Corruption Newsletter for Summer 2019, supported by ‘Anti-Corruption Champion’ John Penrose, MP for Weston-super-Mare, covers the latest developments in anti-corruption over the last quarter. Two reported highlights illustrate the government’s steadfast approach to issuing new statutory guidance for both large corporates and small UK businesses. However, the latter category could receive subsidised… Continue Reading

The Serco Deferred Prosecution Agreement: A Lesson in Pragmatism

Posted in criminal law, Deferred Prosecution Agreement, GT Alert, Serious Fraud Office, sfo, White collar
On 4 July 2019 at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Justice William Davis formally approved the fifth Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) entered into by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The SFO’s latest DPA is with Serco Geografix Limited (SGL), a now-dormant subsidiary of Serco Limited (SL), and marks the end of a six-year investigation which started… Continue Reading

2 Intent-to-Fine Notices in 2 Days by UK Information Commissioner for GDPR Violations; Amounts Total £282 Million

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, GDPR, GT Alert, White collar
It has been over a year since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force – and it did so with great fanfare. The GDPR had the effect of overhauling how personal data is dealt with across Europe, introducing the ‘gold standard’ of protection for the rights and freedoms of EU data subjects. At… Continue Reading

M&A Deal Flushes Out Bribery Scheme Leaving Seller Director with a Multi-Million Pound Hangover and Jail Time

Posted in GT Alert, Serious Fraud Office, White collar
On 30 May 2019 the SFO issued a press release announcing that Carol Ann Hodson, the former director and owner of a company named ALCA Fasteners Ltd (ALCA), pleaded guilty to paying bribes amounting to £300,000 in order to secure contracts worth £12m. The bribes were paid to purchasing manager1 of a German company over the… Continue Reading

Roll Up, Roll Up: ‘Cannabis Inc.’ Is Open for Business, but UK Investors Must Wait Their Turn

Posted in cannabis, criminal law, Proceeds of Crime Act, White collar
With the U.S. cannabis market reported to be worth around $10 billion, sales in Canada expected to reach $6.5 billion by 2020, and the UK having recently decriminalised the use of the drug for medicinal purposes, UK-based investors are eyeing the potential for profit from this new business area. Click here to read the full GT… Continue Reading

Money Grows on Trees for Local Council Pursuing Home Improvement Enthusiasts and Local Football Club Fundraiser

Posted in criminal law, GT Alert, Proceeds of Crime Act, White collar
It is widely thought that proceedings under the Proceeds of ‘Crime’ Act, such as confiscation, are intended to obtain the money someone makes from committing a crime. So, the thinking goes, if a person is convicted of fraud having made £100,000 from the crime, then those funds can be confiscated by the courts. While this… Continue Reading

UK Financial Conduct Authority Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Underway With Threats of Civil and Criminal Enforcement

Posted in GT Alert, White collar
Speaking on 4 April 2019, the head of enforcement for the UK FCA, Mark Steward, warned those subject to the UK’s anti-money laundering regulations that ‘it is time that the FCA gave effect to the full intention of the Money-Laundering Regulations which provides for criminal prosecutions’. He added: ‘[The FCA is] now conducting ‘dual track’ AML investigations,… Continue Reading

FCA Receives Thousands of Insider Dealing Tip-Offs From Financial Services Firms; Few Investigations Opened

Posted in insider dealing, White collar
Figures provided by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) show that in spite of the thousands of tip-offs on insider dealing it receives from banks and other financial services firms, it rarely opens an investigation. In a response to a freedom of information (FOI) request made by Greenberg Traurig’s White Collar Defence and Special Investigations… Continue Reading

UK Review of the Bribery Act 2010 – Committee Concludes New Guidance Needed

Posted in Bribery Act 2010, Compliance Programs, Corporate, criminal law, Government, White collar
In 2018 the House of Lords announced it would set up an ad hoc Select Committee to conduct a post-legislative review of the Bribery Act 2010. Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Anne-Marie Ottaway was appointed Specialist Advisor to the Committee, which today published the report of its findings. The review confirms that the Bribery Act 2010 is “an… Continue Reading

The Financial Conduct Authority – Part 2 – Criminal & Civil Insider Dealing

Posted in criminal law, FCA, Financial Conduct Authority, insider dealing, insider trading, White collar
In a February 2019 speech, the FCA’s Director of Market Oversight, Julia Hoggett, said the following: The life blood of all well-functioning markets is the timely dissemination of information, without which effective price information cannot take place. The malignant form of that same life blood is the misuse or inappropriate dissemination of that information. The… Continue Reading

I Smell a Rat: SFO Looks to Informants – Dangling the Carrot of Immunity?

Posted in criminal law, White collar
Lisa Osofsky, the new director of the UK Serious Fraud Office, says her agency should use insiders and co-operators to bring to life by way of live evidence the document-heavy cases it prosecutes. Speaking to the Commons Justice Committee in December 2018, Ms Osofsky alluded to the slow pace of SFO investigations as one of… Continue Reading

Top 5 Predictions for UK White Collar Defence in 2019

Posted in Brexit, criminal law, Government, International Law, White collar
What does 2019 have in store for white-collar defence in the UK? In this GT Alert, we list our top 5 predictions relating to Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Director Lisa Osofsky, who indicated various areas of focus for her tenure; Brexit and the potential loss of the European Arrest Warrant regime and the U.K.’s access to EU… Continue Reading

The Financial Conduct Authority – Part 1 – Market Manipulation

Posted in criminal law, FCA, Financial Conduct Authority, spoofing, White collar
The term ‘market manipulation’ is a broad one which can mean a number of things. In this GT Advisory, we consider how market manipulation is approached in the U.K. in both a civil and criminal context, and how it has been enforced by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We also discuss spoofing, a tactic… Continue Reading

Failure to Prevent Tax Evasion: Forgotten, but Not Gone

Posted in criminal law, Tax, tax evasion, White collar
The new offences introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (the Act), although widely publicised in the months leading up to its commencement, have received little attention since from commentators and, seemingly, the enforcement authorities. The two new offences govern U.K. and non-U.K. tax and are targeted at criminalising a corporate entity or partnership’s (broadly,… Continue Reading

Prove It or Lose It! Part III: A Step Too Far? Account Freezing Orders & Account Forfeiture Orders

Posted in criminal law, White collar
Part III of our series on asset recovery powers available to UK law enforcement authorities focuses on new powers under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 to obtain orders to freeze bank accounts and apply for forfeiture orders, permanently depriving the account holder of the funds contained in the account. These draconian new powers have received little publicity… Continue Reading

Prove It or Lose It! Part II: Civil Recovery Orders

Posted in White collar
In the first of our two-part series, we looked at Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs). To summarize, UWOs require the recipient to explain how they obtained their wealth/assets, which authorities have reasonable grounds to suspect could not have been with the recipient’s known sources of income. The UWO is the beginning of a journey that can result… Continue Reading

Prove It or Lose It! – Part I: Unexplained Wealth Orders

Posted in White collar
Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) have recently been in the news. They extend the powers available to UK law enforcement authorities under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). A UWO enables investigators to ask people who are holding assets, which based on their legitimate income they would not be able to afford, to prove that… Continue Reading

Tips for Dealing with a ‘Dawn Raid’ or Search in the UK

Posted in White collar
Recent statistics show investigators taking a harder line and conducting increasing numbers of searches with the Serious Fraud Office more than tripling the number of searches it conducted in connection with ongoing investigations in the 12 months ended 31, March 2018. Searches by law enforcement investigators, including dawn raids, are inherently intrusive and are often used… Continue Reading

SFO Carries out 30 Property Raids as Part of Criminal Investigations – Over Triple the Number the Year Before

Posted in White collar
But raids as part of asset seizure probes fall to zero LONDON – 26 July 2018 – The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched 30 property raids to gather evidence for its ongoing criminal investigations (i.e. before prosecution takes place) in the previous 12 months year ending March 31. The number is more than triple… Continue Reading

UK Court Rules a Suspect in a Criminal Investigation has Reasonable Expectation it will be Kept Private

Posted in White collar
In Sir Cliff Richard OBE v. The British Broadcasting Corporation and The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [2018] EWHC 1837 (Ch) a UK court has ruled that the reporting by the BBC of a police investigation (which was later closed without prosecution) into Sir Cliff Richard and televised search of his home using a helicopter flying… Continue Reading