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England: land of crooks or land of enforcement?

Paul Hodgson | July 18, 2017

Vomiting into fireplaces, betting £15 million on Sports Direct’s share price, paying £1 million plus bonuses to certain top managers from his own pocket to keep down the wages of other staff … Mike Ashley, Sports Direct’s founder, might seem like just a “power-drinking, money-making machine” to lawyers and judges in the high court, but to his employees earning less than the minimum wage and working in Victorian workhouse conditions his jolly japes are less amusing.

Ashley is probably the biggest personality to have appeared in Britain’s growing rogues’ gallery in the last couple of years, though he is not the only one. But why are there so many of them? Is it because there are more “big time” corporate crooks and fraudsters in Britain than elsewhere, or is the U.K.’s enforcement system—from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to the Metropolitan Police—just better at tracking them down and hauling them into court?

On the one hand, I... To get the full story, subscribe now.