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The UK's main anti-fraud aid supports American style because of bargains



(Reuters) – Britain's premier fraud complainant has cast its weight behind US corporate business negotiations with criticism that they can allow companies to recognize inaccuracies without leading to successful indictments against individuals.

Lisa Osofsky, an Anglo-American former FBI lawyer who is now in charge of the Serious Fraud Office, said that the use of deferred charges, or DPAs, was effective in ensuring that companies cleaned their actions – and were still in their childhood.

"I don & # 39; t think the DPA system is in any way, shape or form," she told Reuters in an interview.

Dealers Tesco and aircraft engines group Rolls-Royce agreed on DPA with SFO in 201

7 and paid fines of SEK 129 million and almost SEK 500 million ($ 650 million) over a bookkeeping and a bribery scandal.

Nursing fees are a common feature of the US legal system but have only been used in the United Kingdom since 2015. They allow companies to avoid criminals prosecution in a court settlement that often includes a fine and compliance check.

Since Osofosky raised his post at the end of August in August, a retrial of former Tesco directors explained and she completed a study of individuals linked to the Rolls-Royce case.

Ms. Osofsky says that while there is not enough evidence to prosecute individuals about the maladministration described in the DPA, they still serve an important purpose.

"Business (operated) by individuals. But how do you reprimand, discipline, punish bad business behavior?" She said. "I see (cases against companies and individuals) as two very different things and I think that DPA's role is to make sure that the company engages with prosecutors, arrives and cleans up its action."

No "existential threat"

Prosecution of criminal crime is notoriously tricky, time-consuming and expensive. This has long given speculation that SFO, which is responsible for investigating and prosecuting the most complex corruption, will roll into a broader law enforcement force.

But Ms. Osofsky says she feels that she has the support of her political paymen.

"I wrote a five-year contract that says they want me here," she said. "Whatever existential threat the organization may have known it was under … I don't know a part of it."

She refused to withdraw if she could close more of the 70 cases she inherited, profile investigations to the minister Rio Tinto, the European aviation industry Airbus, British American Tobacco, Tata Steel and miner ENRC.

But she said that meaningful cases do not need to involve large companies. She highlighted a solar panel's energy mixer, where last year, six men were sentenced to a total of more than 30 years in prison for a fraud of £ 17 million in 1500 often elderly, pensioners and vulnerable people.

"That, for me, is a big case," she said.


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