Michael Sorby, Adrian Leek and David Justice have been acquitted of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to bribe. The presiding Jury found the three men not guilty of conspiring with various agents to agree bribes in relation to 27 separate overseas contracts for their company, Sarclad Ltd.
After the removal of reporting restrictions, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) can now confirm that these acquittals follow the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) reached between the SFO and Sarclad Ltd in July 2016. Sarclad Ltd has accepted the charges of corruption and failure to prevent bribery in relation to the systematic use of bribes to secure contracts for the company between June 2004 and June 2012. The contracts that were the subject of the DPA had a total value of over £17 million.
As a result of the DPA, Sarclad Ltd agreed to pay financial orders of £6,553,085, comprised of a £6,201,085 disgorgement of gross profits and a £352,000 financial penalty. £1,953,085 was paid by Sarclad Ltd’s US-registered parent company as repayment of a significant proportion of the dividends that it received from the company over the indictment period.
The DPA also required Sarclad Ltd to fully co-operate with the SFO and provide a report addressing all third party intermediary transactions and the completion and effectiveness of its existing anti-bribery and corruption controls every 12 months for the duration of the DPA. The terms of the DPA have now been met and the DPA procedure is now concluded.
Sarclad Ltd identified issues in the way in which a number of contracts had been secured in August 2012, hiring a law firm to advise the business. The subsequent report by the law firm was delivered to the SFO on 31 January 2013, after which the SFO conducted its own investigation.