Bribery and Corruption

Supreme Court poised to overturn Virginia ex-governor's bribery conviction

It has been reported that during a U.S Supreme Court hearing the Court appeared ready to overturn the 2014 corruption convictions of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell after his appeal was heard on 27 April 2016.

Several of the eight justices indicated that McDonnell's acceptance of $177,000 in luxury gifts and loans from a businessman seeking to promote a dietary supplement did not constitute a criminal act. They further raised concerns that US anti-corruption laws have been applied broadly and that this interpretation could criminalise a number of common actions by politicians.

The Supreme Court is due to rule on the matter by the end of June.

Reuters, 27 April 2016


Six charged following apprenticeship scheme investigation

Six men were charged with offences relating to fraud in connection with an investigation by the SFO into the activity of Luis Michael Trading Ltd, a company purporting to provide young people with football-based apprenticeship schemes.

It is alleged that between 2009 and 2011, Luis Michael Training Ltd claimed payments from several Further Education Colleges for training and education services they did not, in fact, provide.

The six defendants will make their next appearance at Southwark Crown Court on 1 June 2016.

SFO, 4 May 2016

Tom Hayes plans to appeal his Libor conviction

It is reported that Tom Hayes, currently serving 11 years in prison for rigging Libor rates, intends to take his appeal to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

The Guardian, 4 May 2016

Senior Barclays executive denies knowledge of Libor rate rigging

Senior Barclays executive Michael Bagguley, a prosecution witness in the trial of five former Barclays traders, has denied any involvement in or knowledge of rate rigging between 2005 and 2007.

The Guardian, 27 April 2016

Health and Safety

Travis Perkins fined

Travis Perkins was fined £2 million in relation to the death of a customer, Mr Mark John Pointer, in Milton Keynes.

Mr Pointer was loading planks of wood onto the roof rack of his car when he fell backwards onto the yard service. Mr Pointer was run over by one of the company's vehicles and died from his injuries.

Travis Perkins pleaded guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety a Work etc. Act 2974. It was reported that the company failed to ensure loading and unloading activities were undertaken in a safe manner in a safe area.

Shponline, 4 May 2016

Worker falls from five-story building

A Birmingham maintenance company, H20 Plumbing Services Ltd, was fined £100,000 after a worker died from falling from the roof of a five-storey building in Birmingham.

The incident occurred in respect of a job involving the repair of two motor rooms on the roof of the building.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the company failed to ensure the safety of its employees.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Shponline, 5 May 2016

Foundation Trust fined over bedrail failures

A North West NHS Foundation Trust has been fined following a guilty plea at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court over its failure to properly manage the use of bedrails at its hospitals.

Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, that has its headquarters at Westmorland General Hospital in Cumbria, admitted breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,465.

HSE, 29 April 2016

Two firms fined for safety breaches

Two construction firms based in Derbyshire were fined by Derby Crown Court for safety breaches in relation to reported cases of carpel tunnel syndrome and hand arm vibration syndrome to employees.

Sandvik Mining and Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,246.

Sandvik Construction Mobile Crushers and Screeners Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £280,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,246.

HSE, 25 April 2016


US Senate bill to renew Venezuela sanctions

The US Senate has approved a bill that would renew US sanctions against Venezuela, which came into force in 2014, for a further 3 years.

The sanctions impose asset freezes and travel bans on current and former Venezuelan officials said to have been involved in the violence and human rights abuses against anti-government protestors that started in 2014.

The bill still requires approval from the House of Representatives and President to become law. 

European Sanctions, 4 May 2015