Deferred prosecution agreements dissected

The first DPAs under the United Kingdom’s new scheme for settling corruption offences with corporates are awaited with intense interest. A panel at the recent University of Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime discussed some of the issues. By Esther Martin

“Certainly for the first few cases there is likely to be something of a Mexican standoff between the corporate defendant, the Serious Fraud Office and the judge… when nobody really wants to blink first.”

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Disclosure, Interviews, Comment, Surveys and Research, Bribery & Corruption

China – corruption in the round

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Chinese Communist party may have staked his political capital on a campaign against corruption but resistance to reform, not least among civil servants, constantly threatens to stall the agenda. Mark Godfrey, in Beijing, considers the vested interests at work.

Due Diligence, Bribery & Corruption, Asia-Pacific

Cyber security attacks up 48% in a year

Reported information security incidents rose 48% to 42.8 million globally over the year to late September, according to a Global State of Information Security Survey (GSISS) 2015 from global accountants PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).

Comment, Surveys and Research, Online Fraud

City of London Police adapt to online threat

Fraud in the UK is on an upward trajectory, driven by the growth of online crime, City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard told the London Fraud Forum on 9 October 2014: “I’m not sure what the answer is [but] it’s certainly not going to be through enforcement. It can only be through prevention and working with industry.”

Law Enforcement, Prevention, Online Fraud, Europe

Police resource rise lags fraud

Law enforcement staffing of fraud or economic crime teams has risen 11% since 2011, according to data supplied to the BBC by 29 of 45 UK police forces.

Law Enforcement, Surveys & Research, Europe

New EU anti-fraud commissioner backs OLAF

The incoming European Union (EU) commissioner for budgets and human resources has pledged support for the under-pressure EU anti-fraud office OLAF, assuming she is confirmed to serve a five-year term from 1 November 2014.

International agencies, Europe

Vantage point

Continuity is the watchword for the Fraud Advisory Panel under its new chairman, David Kirk. The not for profit organisation has already proved itself an effective lobby group and advice service on fraud, he says, bringing together individuals with varied skillsets, in law, accountancy, investigation, to press UK government and law enforcement to “up their game”.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Law Enforcement, Comment, Surveys and Research, Europe

Tools of the asset recovery trade

Elizabeth O’Brien provides trans-Atlantic perspectives on discovery, sealing and gagging relief.

Asset Tracing, Criminal Confiscation & Civil Recovery, Disclosure, Search and Seizure, Europe, North America

Innospec: lessons for cooperating defendants

A high-profile case of what the judge called “institutionalised corruption” concluded in recent months, as staff of chemical company Innospec learned their fates. Neil Swift, who acted for the cooperating defendant David Turner, analyses the sentences.

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Bribery & Corruption, Europe

Alert service to focus banks on real-time financial crime

A new Financial Crime Alerts Service (FCAS), warning banks about the latest financial crime and cyber threats, is to be launched by the British Bankers Association.

Detection, Intelligence Sharing, Prevention, Bribery & Corruption, Money Laundering, Online Fraud, Europe

GSK fined £297m for bribery in China

GlaxoSmithKline, the UK pharmaceuticals group, was fined £297m on 19 September after a Chinese court found it guilty of "offering money or property to non-government personnel in order to obtain improper commercial gains".

Criminal & Civil Proceedings, Bribery & Corruption, Asia-Pacific

European currents – new Commission, fresh direction

A new European Commission nominated to hold office for the next five years has been told by its incoming president that it must increase transparency and avoid any hint of sleaze.

International agencies, Tax & Excise, Tax Fraud, Europe

EU detects 1,500 containers of undervalued goods

European Union (EU) national customs authorities uncovered more than 1,500 containers of undervalued imported goods between February and March 2014 in a joint operation, which was the first of its kind involving Chinese customs authorities.

Tax Fraud, Europe

Behind the numbers – a guide to financial services investigations

The technical complexity of many financial products and how they are traded, calls for a focussed approach from an investigator about where the money flows and the incentives at work. Rob Mason of FRA explores the data collection and analysis involved.

Data Mining & Analysis, Investigation, Market Abuse, Securities & Investment Fraud

The Bribery Act: a preventative approach

The Serious Fraud Office appears to be gearing-up enforcement of the Bribery Act, says Phil Beckett of Proven Legal Technologies. He warns companies that if they fail to prevent financial crime, they could face prosecution, large fines and official blacklisting from European tenders. With renewed political interest in the form of a wide-ranging review of the United Kingdom’s ability to tackle bribery and white-collar crime, it would be wise for companies to examine this area more closely.

Data Mining & Analysis, Investigation, Prevention, Technology, Bribery & Corruption, Europe

Finger vein scans aim to secure online banking transactions

Japanese electronics giant Hitachi is partnering with Barclays Bank to trial finger vein pattern scanning for Barclays’ UK business customers to access online accounts starting in 2015.

Prevention, Technology, Online Fraud

International cybercrime taskforce launched in Europe

An international Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) was launched on 1 September to step up the fight against online fraudsters in the European Union (EU) and beyond.

Law Enforcement, Investigation, Online Fraud, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America & Caribbean, North America