SFO aims for ‘prevention better than cure’ approach

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is set for ­radical change that will see the government department move further away from prosecuting fraudsters.


SFO aims for ‘prevention better than cure’ approachThe ;Serious ;Fraud Office (SFO) is set for ­radical change that will see the government department move further away from prosecuting fraudsters.

SFO director Richard Alderman says he wants to introduce alternatives to ­trials as he believes protecting the public and stopping the harm fraudsters cause is as important as securing convictions.

“An example of where litigation may not be the right course of action is where two businesses merge,” said Alderman. “One finds out the other has been fraudulent and so those people are thrown out of the company and other steps to rectify the fraud are taken to the best of the company’s abilities.

“In such a scenario the business wants to draw a line under it and start afresh, and I think the SFO should help in that instead of prosecuting needlessly.”

The proposed changes come as Alderman fills the roles left by the departures of four members of his ­senior management team with secondees from other government departments and by promoting others from within the unit.

“Bringing in secondees from the likes of Revenue & Customs works well due to our change of direction,” said Alderman.