London jury acquits three Sarclad staff despite corporate plea deal
17 Jul 2019

Three former employees of Sarclad, a British technology business that supplies the metals industry, were acquitted of bribery charges on Tuesday, although the company had accepted it failed to prevent corrupt payments over an eight-year period.

A London jury cleared former managing director Michael Sorby, 75, ex-sales head Adrian Leek, 43, and 48-year-old former project manager David Justice of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to bribe in relation to 27 overseas contracts, the Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said.

After the jury delivered its verdict, reporting restrictions were lifted on a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) — a court-approved corporate plea deal — struck between the SFO prosecutor and Sarclad in 2016.

Under the DPA, which suspends a prosecution in return for terms such as a fine and remedial measures, Sarclad accepted charges of corruption and that bribes had been used to secure contracts of more than 17 million pounds ($21 million) between 2004 and 2012 and paid a 6.5 million pound fine, the SFO said.

However, the SFO was not able to show that various Sarclad agents actually paid bribes to named and unknown individuals, according to DPA-related court documents released alongside the acquittal notice.

By Kirstin Ridley, Reuters, 16 July 2019

Read more at Reuters

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