Former executives convicted of bribery offences
On 4 August, following the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) investigation into Associated Octel Corporation (subsequently known as Innospec), four former executives were sentenced for their roles in bribing state officials in Indonesia and Iraq.
The four men – Mr Kerrison, Mr Jennings, Dr Papachristos and Dr Turner – received sentences between 300 hours of unpaid work and four years in prison.
When sentencing the individuals, HHJ Goymer said:
“None of these defendants would consider themselves in the same category as common criminals who commit crimes of dishonestly or violence… but the real harm lies in the effect on public life, the effect on community and in particular with this corruption, its effect on the environment. If a company registered in the UK engages in bribery of foreign officials it tarnishes the reputation of this country in the international arena.”
Following an investigation that lasted six years, the company pled guilty in March 2010 (prior to the introduction of the UK Bribery Act) to bribing foreign officials in Indonesia, in relation to the sales of the fuel additive tetraethyl lead, a product which has been slowly phased out across most of the world due to a myriad of health issues. Innospec paid $12.7 million to the SFO.
In the US, Innospec plead guilty to 12 counts which included violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for its behaviour in Iraq including violating the United Nations Oil for Food programme. The company agreed to pay $27.5 million to the US as part of a plea deal.
Dr Turner was ordered to pay £10,000 towards prosecution costs and Mr Jennings £5,000, both having already paid disgorgement costs in the US. The matter of costs in relation to Mr Kerrison and Dr Papachristos has been adjourned.
MacRoberts can advise on all aspects of the Bribery Act 2010, including interactive training for your organisation.