The recent acquittal of our client, Oritsé Williams, once again puts a spotlight on the prosecution of rape and serious sexual offences, and the particular complexities faced by high profile individuals defending allegations of this nature.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established to investigate and prosecute cases involving serious or complex fraud, a mission that inevitably leads it to the corporate sector. In 2010, it was given two significant tools in dealing with companies: a simple route to corporate criminal liability for bribery cases in the Bribery Act 2010 (the stick); and a means of incentivising a company fixed with corporate criminal liability to co-operate with the SFO by entering into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) and so avoiding a conviction (the carrot).
On 12 July, the Home Office published its new Asset Recovery Action Plan (“the Plan”) to complement the National Economic Crime Plan 2019 to 2022. In it, the government expresses its clear intention to attack criminal finances still more robustly and to hit hard at the “common thread that runs through almost all offending” – money. The Plan continues: “The vast majority of criminality is driven by money, so it is vital that we are relentless in our pursuit of the illicit finances that criminals acquire to fund their criminal lifestyle and commit further crime…”
The Gambling Commission announced on 31 July that it had taken action against Ladbrokes Coral Group for anti-money laundering failings in breach of its licence conditions to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (in addition to breach of its social responsibility code provision in respect of customer interaction.