The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) have reached a global settlement with BAE Systems Plc (BAE Systems), after the company admitted to control failures in the way it ran its business globally. BAE Systems has been under investigation by the SFO and the DoJ for bribery allegations since 2004 and this is believed to be the first time the transatlantic countries have worked together to reach a multi-jurisdictional settlement.
Under the SFO's settlement agreement, BAE Systems has pleaded guilty to an offence of failing to keep reasonably accurate accounting records in relation to its activities in Tanzania in accordance with section 221 of the Companies Act 1985. In addition, BAE has agreed to pay £30 million comprising of a financial order to be determined by the court with the balance to be paid as an ex gratia payment for the benefit of the people of Tanzania.
In addition, in an agreement with the DoJ, BAE Systems has pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiring to make false statements to the US Government in relation to certain regulatory filings and undertakings. BAE Systems will pay a fine of $400 million and has agreed to make additional commitments with regard to compliance.
In reaching a settlement, the SFO took into account the company's implementation of substantial ethical and compliance reforms and it has confirmed that no further prosecutions will be brought against BAE Systems or any individuals in relation to the matters that had been under investigation by the SFO.