Bribery and Corruption

UK Printing Company fined for Africa Bribes

Southwark Crown Court ordered Smith and Ouzman Ltd. to pay a total of approximately £2.2 million in relation to bribes paid to public officials for printing contracts in Kenya and Mauritania.

In December 2014, a jury found that the company and two of its executives had acted in breach of section 1(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

In February 2015, the company's marketing director, Nicholas Smith, was sentenced to three years in prison. The Court also gave the company's chairman, Christopher Smith, an 18 month suspended sentence. Mr Christopher Smith was also ordered to serve a three month curfew and perform 250 hours of unpaid community service. 

On 8 December 2015, the Court ordered Smith and Ouzman Ltd to pay a fine of approximately £1.3 million, £881,000 to satisfy a confiscation order and £25,000 in costs. It also ordered Nicholas Smith to pay £18,693.00 in confiscation and costs of £75,000 and Christopher Smith to pay £4,500 in confiscation and costs of £75,000.

FCPA Blog, 11 January 2016

Ex- Consultant at Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp. pleads guilty in Corruption Case

A former manager of special projects at the non-profit organisation pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

Donald Bernard Sr. admitted that he took $956,948 in exchange for awarding work to contractors.

Bloomberg, 5 January 2016

Swiss Authorities freeze $80 million worth of assets in relation to FIFA Case

Bloomberg reports that Swiss authorities have frozen approximately $80 million worth of assets and have provided documents to their U.S. counterparts to be used in prosecutions of high-ranking officials at FIFA.

Bloomberg, 30 December 2015

Cyber Crime

U.K. police arrest man in VTech toy hacking investigation

A 21 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of unauthorised access to a computer as part of a cyber-crime probe into a computer hack at children's electronic toymaker,VTech Holdings Ltd.

BBC, 15 December 2015

Ukrainian homes left without electricity after hackers took down three power companies

A number of homes were left without electricity last week after malware was used to infected the networks of regional power companies.

Business Insider UK, 5 January 2016

Fraud

Rangers Fraud Case

Six men, including the club's former owner Craig Whyte, have appeared in court in connection with the alleged fraudulent acquisition of Rangers assets.

BBC News, 5 January 2016

Sanctions

OFAC implements US cyber-sanctions

On 31 December 2015, the US issued regulations implementing sanctions that target those responsible for malicious cyber-activities.

U.S. Department of the Treasury, 31 December 2016

Tax

Tax fraud trial begins in France of art-dealer dynasty

Members of the Wildenstein family charged with  tax evasion went on trial in Paris on 4 January 2016. However, the trial was stayed after the family successfully argued that a Court of Appeal should consider whether they can be tried over facts that are also part of a French tax probe.

Times of Israel, 4 January 2016

Bloomberg, 6 January 2016

FCA ends HSBC tax evasion probe without further action

Sky News reports that the FCA will not take action against HSBC over allegations that its Swiss private bank helped wealthy clients evade tax.

Sky, 4 January 2016

Health & Safety

Total E&P UK Ltd received record fine

Oil and gas production company, Total E&P UK Ltd, was fined £1.125 million after it admitted failures that led to the largest release of gas on record from the Elgin Offshore platform.

The HSE operations manager said that the incident was "foreseeable and entirely preventable".

Health and Safety Executive, 22 December 2015

Thames Water fined £1million, the highest ever fine for a water company

The Environment Agency successfully brought a case against Thames Water Utilities Ltd.after Thames Water pleaded guilty to causing repeated discharges of polluting matter to enter the Grand Union Canal.

Gov.uk, 5 January 2016

Baldwins Crane Hire

Baldwins Crane Hire was fined £700,000 and ordered to pay £200,000 in costs following the death of a crane driver.  The conviction for corporate manslaughter was as a result of several wheel brakes "providing only limited braking force", causing the 130-tonne crane to crash into an earth bank.

BBC, 22 December 2015

Veolia

Veolia, who specialise in waste and recycling, has been fined £450,000 following the collapse of a stack of waste, seriously injuring an employee.  A HSE investigation revealed that "Veolia relied upon a flawed and inadequate generic risk assessment".

Lets Recycle, 22 December 2015

Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust

Following health and safety failures which led to the "needless" deaths of four patients at Stafford Hospital (now called County Hospital), the NHS Trust has been fined £500,000. The NHS Trust were found to have inadequate measures in place to protect patients and that there had been widespread systematic failures.

ITV, 16 December 2015

Hanson Packed Products Ltd.

A £750,000 fine was imposed on Handson Packed Products following the death of an employee.  William Ridge had been cleaning around the base of an in-feed conveyer when he was sucked into a machine at a cement bagging site.

The Construction Index, 18 December 2015

General

Internet entrepreneur ruled eligible for U.S. extradition

A New Zealand court has ruled that Mr Kim Dotcom, is eligible for extradition to the U.S. in relation to charges of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering.

Bloomberg, 23 December 2015