SFO v PETROFAC: PLEA BARGAIN v DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD COMPLIANCE

On 20 October, 5 St Andrew’s Hill chambers published an article about the recent decision whereby Petrofac Limited was sentenced following guilty pleas to 7 counts of failing to prevent bribery, contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, after a 4-year corruption and money laundering investigation by the SFO and the earlier guilty pleas of David Lufkin, its former Global Head of Sales.  Bribes totalling $81 million were made to win contracts worth $7.5 billion in 3 Middle East countries.  It is said that the case appears to be a departure from the SFO’s recent strategy of negotiating DPA, and the company avoiding any criminal conviction – but the article outlines factors specific to this case made it unlikely the SFO and Petrofac could reach a DPA, including that Petrofac began cooperating relatively late on in the investigation.  The article goes on to examine lessons learned from a compliance standpoint. The article concludes that the case stands as a stark reminder to corporations, especially those operating internationally to have robust procedures in place to prevent bribery and corruption and the necessary safeguards to handle any allegations of wrongdoing when or if they arise.  

https://www.5sah.co.uk/knowledge-hub/articles/2021-10-19/sfo-v-petrofac-plea-bargain-versus-dpas-and-the-importance-of-good-compliance

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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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