Scotland’s prosecution service this week announced a £2.2 million civil settlement with Braid Group (Holdings), a Glasgow-based diversified global logistics company to resolve allegations that it obtained business through unlawful conduct.
Braid Group, the parent holding company for various subsidiary companies, including Braid Logistics (Braid U.K.), became aware of potentially dishonest activities in relation to two Braid U.K. freight forwarding contracts in 2012. The company then initiated an internal investigation, which revealed violations of the Bribery Act.
The first contract related to an agreement between a Braid U.K. employee and the employee of a customer. An account was used as a means for unauthorized expenses to be incurred by the customer’s employee and was funded by the dishonest inflation of invoices provided to the customer. The expenses included personal travel, holidays, gifts, hotels, car hire and cash.
During the investigation into the contract, separate bribery offences in relation to a second customer were discovered. A profit sharing arrangement with a director of the customer company had been operated, where the profit achieved on services provided to the customer was split, in return for orders continuing to be placed with Braid U.K.
Braid self-reported to the Crown Office admitting that it failed in its responsibility to prevent the wrongdoing and accepting responsibility for a violation of Sections 1 and 7 of the Bribery Act. In a statement, Linda Hamilton, Head of the Civil Recovery Unit, said that “Braid is to be commended for self-reporting the unlawful conduct to Crown Office.” Additionally, Braid has taken steps to implement new policies and training throughout all of its subsidiaries to ensure that no unlawful conduct can take place in the future.
“In view of any resulting criminal investigation into particular individuals (as distinct from the company that is the subject of this civil settlement) that may follow, it is not possible to provide any further details of the corrupt payments.