Sir Eric Pickles, on how the UK is tackling corruption

Prime Minister David Cameron wants to excise “the cancer at the heart of so many of the world’s problems” – corruption – and make the UK a trusted place to do business. Sir Eric Pickles, his point person, talks to Esther Martin.

 

Corporate Vehicles / Trusts, Freezing & Restraint, UK Government & Public Sector, Bribery & Corruption, Money Laundering

‘The more things change…’ - time-worn accounts payable frauds

Roma Aeterna – in many ways the birthplace of Western Civilisation – also bred fraudulent scams that still beset us. From an ancient false billing scam to today, Adam K Bowen outlines the attributes of classic accounts payable schemes and what to watch out for.

Case Studies / Red Flags, Detection, Investigation, Financial Misstatement, Receivables Financing Fraud, Vendor, Supplier and Procurement Fraud

Court backs SFO over handling of electronic files subject to LPP

England’s High Court has backed the UK Serious Fraud Office over the way it handles and identifies electronic material subject to the right to non-disclosure through legal professional privilege.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Law Enforcement, Search and Seizure, Document Examination, Technology, Europe

SFO head defends trial after six acquitted in LIBOR trial

The director of the UK Serious Fraud Office, David Green, has defended the decision to prosecute six individuals over LIBOR rigging fraud, after they were acquitted in Southwark Crown Court last week.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Financial Instrument Fraud, Market Abuse, Europe

EU eyes wider reverse charge mechanism to combat VAT fraud

The European Union (EU) could ease strict conditions allowing tax and customs authorities to use reverse charge mechanisms to collect VAT, whereby liability for payments is switched from customer to supplier, to prevent fraud.

International agencies, Tax Fraud, Europe

UK progresses amid a generally bleak Corruption Perceptions Index

The UK is back in the ten least-corrupt nations in the world, according to the updated Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index – while Denmark scores a second straight year in the least-corrupt spot.

Comment, Surveys and Research, Bribery & Corruption

UK Insurance Fraud Taskforce tells industry to toughen claims assessments

A British government task force has proposed reforms to tackle insurance fraud, including more detailed assessment of claims, information sharing and warning policyholders that false claims inflates premiums.

Comment, Surveys and Research, Insurance Fraud, Europe

Office of National Statistics details growing fraud cases in UK

The amount of fraud committed in the UK appears to be rising, according to a detailed report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) - although the agency accepts the many difficulties in gathering reliable data on the topic.

Comment, Surveys and Research, Europe

Duty of Vigilance – France havers

A step-change in anti-corruption, human rights, and environmental obligations on French firms is in prospect but the legislature is hesitating. Caroline Fagard, of Forensic Risk Alliance and Jesica Lindgren of Blue Star Strategies, LLC examine why.

Legislation, Bribery & Corruption, Europe

Holding states to a higher standard: allegations of corruption in international arbitration

As the global focus on corruption by enforcers and NGOs in recent years has increased, so too has the number of international arbitration cases where serious allegations of bribery or corruption are the central issue. In such cases, write Michael O’Kane and Sarah Cotterill of Peters & Peters, while the more flexible, consensual platform offered by international arbitration assists arbitrators in their independent fact-finding, the lack of clearly defined evidential standards risks creating injustice, in circumstances where a finding of corruption can have a devastating impact on a party. Here, they examine the current position in relation to the evidential standard in international arbitration.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Evidence, International agencies, UK Government & Public Sector, Bribery & Corruption

Withstanding a siege from social engineers

“I’m only human,” is an oft-repeated phase. Unfortunately this inevitable vulnerability is exploited by electronic hackers to gain entry to their targets. Jenny Radcliffe provides pointers on how to educate staff and buffer your organisation against ‘social engineers’.

Prevention, Psychology & Profiling, Confidence Schemes

US prosecutors secure first conviction for UN corruption

US prosecutors have secured their first conviction in a case involving widespread corruption at the United Nations.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Bribery & Corruption, North America

New rules may encourage more City workers to speak out

A set of requirements concerning whistleblowing arrangements for certain UK financial services institutions, to take effect in September 2016, represent a further attempt to clean up the City. Annabel Mackay of Addleshaw Goddard examines the rules along with their pros and cons.

Whistleblowing, Europe

New rules may encourage more City workers to speak out

A set of requirements concerning whistleblowing arrangements for certain UK financial services institutions, to take effect in September 2016, represent a further attempt to clean up the City. Annabel Mackay examines the rules along with their pros and cons.

Whistleblowing, Europe

SFO v. Olympus: application of the offence of misleading the auditors

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) presented no evidence at a hearing, on 10 November 2015, in its case against Olympus Corporation and its wholly owned UK subsidiary, Gyrus Group Ltd. This brought to an end the SFO’s prosecution in respect of the accounting scandal which had engulfed the Olympus Group from late 2011. The companies had been charged under s501(1) of the Companies Act 2006 with misleading Gyrus’ auditors in respect of its 2009 and 2010 audit process, but a judgment at first instance, upheld on appeal, had ruled that s501(1) did not apply to the company itself under audit or its parent company, and that the criminal proceedings were “inevitably doomed as a matter of law”.

Kate Meakin and Rod Fletcher of Herbert Smith Freehills look at the reasoning in the case, which may have implications for the approach taken to future matters, including those currently under investigation by the SFO.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Audit, Financial Misstatement, Europe

HMRC must prioritise prosecutions to tackle fraud, say auditors

The UK tax collection body Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs needs to prioritise its prosecutions better to tackle the estimated £16 billion (US$23.8bn) lost to tax fraud every year, according to a 17 December report from the National Audit Office.

Tax & Excise, UK Government & Public Sector, Comment, Surveys and Research, Tax Fraud, Europe

Tax evaders face six months’ jail under UK plans

Those liable to pay UK tax on offshore income or capital gains could face up to six months in prison as well as fines under British government proposals unveiled on 9 December to make tax evasion a strict liability criminal offence.

Tax Fraud, Europe

Tax evaders face six months’ jail under UK plans

Those liable to pay UK tax on offshore income or capital gains could face up to six months in prison as well as fines under British government proposals unveiled on 9 December to make tax evasion a strict liability criminal offence.

Tax Fraud, Europe