Deferred prosecution deals and sentencing guidelines come to the UK
By Raymond L Sweigart
Although the perceived slow pace of investigations and prosecutions by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has come in for a great deal of commentary and criticism, it does appear that the SFO is slowly but surely ramping up its efforts and has now developed an even greater arsenal of weaponry to deploy. Currently, the SFO may opt to use civil recovery orders (CROs) in place of prosecution and has done so recently in a number of cases involving corporate crime. To that arsenal can now be added deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs). The UK government introduced DPAs through the Crime and Courts Act 2012 and they are expected to be available for use by the SFO and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in February 2014.
Currently, CROs allow a UK enforcement agency such as the SFO to recover and confiscate the proceeds of a crime. They do not involve a criminal conviction and are intended to encourage corporations to self-report corruption and to co-operate with investigators. The use of CROs, however, has come under scrutiny by many, including a working group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which believes that the use of less transparent options such as CROs gives the impression that the SFO is not serious about the criminal prosecution of financial crimes and that corporate wrongdoers are somehow getting away with their crimes. With the availability of DPAs early next year, the SFO may turn away from CROs, although they will remain an option in the SFO enforcement arsenal…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Pillsbury briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.