Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP has announced that Lisa Osofsky is going to be the new director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Osofsky brings over 30 years’ experience of focusing on financial crime in both the UK and the US to the role.
Osofsky began her career as a federal prosecutor pursuing white collar crime ranging from benefit, defence contractor and bank fraud to corruption, money laundering and drug conspiracy. In total, she has prosecuted over 100 cases on behalf of the US Government.
Osofsky’s career spans both the public and private sectors, including five years as deputy general counsel and ethics officer at the FBI, three years as money laundering reporting officer at Goldman Sachs International and seven years in the Corporate Investigations Division of Control Risks, where she advised on risk and compliance issues.
Osofsky will join the SFO from global firm Exiger’s London office, where she has led the company’s investigative, compliance and assurance activities. These include assessing the money laundering and sanctions programmes of global financial institutions under orders imposed by prosecutors and regulators.
Her tenure will begin on 3 September for a renewable period of five years. Osofsky takes over from Mark Thompson who was appointed as the interim director of the SFO at the end of April. Thompson will return to his role as chief operating officer at the SFO.
Tackling economic crime
Osofsky will lead the SFO at an exciting time as the organisation works as part of a collective effort with its partners in the National Economic Crime Centre to tackle economic crime which is a priority for the Government. The SFO is in a strong position having recently secured five convictions for rate-rigging offences relating to LIBOR and its first conviction after trial of a corporate entity for offences involving bribery of foreign officials.
The SFO has also obtained a number of high-profile Deferred Prosecution Agreements, most notably in relation to Rolls-Royce.
Commenting on the appointment, the Attorney General Jeremy Wright said: “I’m delighted to announce that Lisa Osofsky will be the next director of the SFO. Economic crime, at all levels, is a growing and changing threat and tackling it is a priority for the Government. As an independent body that works closely and collaboratively with other UK and international authorities to best protect the public, the SFO will continue to undertake crucial work to investigate and prosecute serious and complex economic crime.”
Wright added: “I have no doubt that Lisa is the exceptional candidate we were looking for to lead the SFO at such a critical time. It’s clear that economic crime is committed across national boundaries, and Lisa’s experience of working at an international level will enhance the SFOs capabilities in this area.”
Commenting on her appointment, Osofsky stated: “I am honoured to be the next director of the Serious Fraud Office. I look forward to building on the SFO’s successful record in the fight against economic crime and leading an emboldened organisation to even greater heights.”
David Green’s term as director of the SFO ended on 20 April. This followed a four-year contract that was extended for two years.