The Serious Fraud Office has announced that a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with Serco Geografix Limited (SGL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Serco Group, has been approved in principle by Mr Justice William Davis.
Partner Jessica Parker said: “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for Lisa Osofsky. The appointment of a former US prosecutor was seen as a signal that the SFO would escalate the use of Deferred Prosecution Agreements to remedy corporate criminal conduct. Those agreements, common in the USA, have seen the DOJ secure huge fines against errant companies.
“Meanwhile, despite early successes by the SFO, such as the DPA agreed with Rolls Royce, the case for entering a DPA has been seriously weakened by recent cases. The SFO failed to secure the conviction of Barclays, who was charged with fraud in 2017 and the individuals, whose assumed guilt was the foundation for the DPA with a Tesco subsidiary, were acquitted.
“If approved, today’s DPA against a subsidiary of Serco, will demonstrate that DPAs remain more appealing to corporates than taking a chance at trial.”