Dr David Turner, a former director of Innospec Ltd, appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court today. He is charged with alleged offences of conspiring to make corrupt payments to public officials in Indonesia and Iraq to secure contracts for Innospec Ltd for the supply of its products. He is also charged with conspiring to defraud a competitor company by bribing Iraqi officials to provide unfavourable test results on its product.
The charges against Dr Turner follow the plea agreement between Innospec Ltd and the US and UK authorities, reluctantly approved by the court in March 2010. This settlement involved a guilty plea by Innospec of conspiracy to corrupt and payments of $40 million in fines to the US and UK authorities. The agreed UK fine was $12.7 million, payable in part by way of civil settlement.
The continued pursuit of charges against an individual director many months after proceedings against his former company have been resolved, indicates a new more aggressive enforcement approach by the Serious Fraud Office. We anticipate that the pursuit of separate actions against companies and individuals arising out of the same activities may become more prevalent in the future, particularly where a company has failed to "self-report" to the SFO.
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