Deferred prosecution agreements — definitive guidelines and code of conduct

Deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs), the government’s newest weapon in the fight against corporate crime, became available to prosecutors from 24 February 2014.

They will widen the scope for enforcement against companies and corporate entities involved in fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption. On 14 February 2014, the director of the Serious Fraud Office and the director of public prosecutions published a joint code of practice on their use of deferred prosecution agreements, which supplements the recently published Sentencing Council’s definitive guideline on fraud, bribery and money laundering for corporate offenders. The government announced plans to introduce DPAs in October 2012 and they were given their statutory footing in the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which received royal assent in April 2013. In the summer of 2013, there followed an extensive consultation exercise, which has resulted in the publication of the code of practice…

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