The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigates serious or complex fraud, often in cases likely to attract public concern, requiring specialised knowledge or an international dimension.
Serious Fraud Office
David Green, Director of SFO refers to a focus on top drawer fraud, “cases which undermine confidence in UK PLC and the City of London, cases which compromise the level playing field to which investors are entitled, serious bribery and corruption, national or international, other cases which may have a particularly strong public interest dimension or which represent a striking new species of fraud”.
The SFO has reorganised into four divisions, two dealing with fraud and two dealing with bribery and corruption. There seems little doubt that major bribery and corruption cases will now be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.
David Green refers to a strategic approach to the problem of fraud with the SFO playing a full part in a new co-operative landscape.
Deferred Prosecution Agreements
Civil settlements are likely to feature heavily and 2013 will see the introduction of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), which are likely to be a key weapon on the SFO’s armory.
For more information on DPAs, visit the following link:
Deferred Prosecution Agreements – New Landscape in the Fight Against Top Level Fraud
Whilst an SFO investigation may be similar to an investigation by any other prosecuting authority, the nature and profile of the offences being investigated will mean that alternatives to a straightforward prosecution are more likely to be considered. For this reason, particularly specialised advice is required.
Olliers recent SFO experience includes the following:
- 2013 – SFO investigation into alleged £1.6 million plot to defraud the Skills Funding Agency via football coaching apprenticeships
- 2011 – SFO -v- L, representation of Director facing SFO investigation into collapse of Lexi Holdings, with alleged bank debts of £75 million
- 2009 – SFO -v- B, defence of Company Director charged in relation to multi million pound factoring fraud