July 17, 2020, G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd (“G4S C-J”), a wholly owned subsidiary of G4S plc (“G4S”), has entered into a delayed prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), under which G4S C-J will pay a fine of approximately 38.5 million pounds, plus SFO costs. In doing so, the SFO completed its investigation of both the G4S Group and the Serco Group (“Serco”) as part of the UK Department of Justice`s (MoJ) billing practice. This is the eighth dpa to date of the SFO and the second this year, after the record DPA with Airbus SE in January. According to the data protection authority`s rules, G4S C-J has admitted three frauds. The data protection authority immediately suspended the prosecution as long as G4S C-J met certain requirements. On October 30, 2020, Justice May, sitting at Crown Court in Southwark, approved the ninth Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) between the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Airline Services Limited (“ASL”) (see SFO press release here). The inquiry was not made public until October 22, 2020, after the SFO announced that at a private hearing the day before before Justice May, the principle of a DPA procedure had been obtained. Read more → The SFO avoided a lengthy lawsuit by a dormant company that, provided the SFO could not obtain a conviction, would not have had money to pay a fine or fees and would have been immediately discharged (as was the case with Skansen Interiors Ltd in March 2018). www.wsj.com/articles/serco-strikes-24-million-deferred-prosecution-agreement-11562184433 Within the DPA, Serco Group PLC agrees to cooperate fully with the SFO in all preliminary investigations, investigations and prosecutions against its staff in all proceedings against its staff. It agrees, in any other proceeding, not to object to a statement contained in the presentation of the facts agreed in the context of the declaration of confidentiality. The data protection authority must fulfil four main concepts to enable SGL to avoid prosecution for such crimes: the deferred prosecution agreement between SFO and serco Group PLC extends to all Serco subsidiaries. This is a significant extension of the scope, since criminal proceedings brought by companies would be exclusively against SGL, which is now a dormant company, and not against other companies in the Serco group. According to the SFO, the terms of the agreement reflected Serco`s self-reporting of the alleged misconduct, its cooperation with agency investigators, and efforts to reform the company`s business and compliance practices.
Serco got a 50% discount on the fine, the company said. The agreement only concerns Serco`s liability and does not specify whether people are responsible, according to the SFO, which states that an investigation has been pursued against individuals concerning the electronic surveillance contract. A 50% discount was granted (instead of a third party, as the Correctional Council`s directive for an admission of guilt as soon as possible would have), bringing the fine to $19.2 million, as the CCA process saves as much time and money as the CCA process.