The Southwark Crown Court in London last week ordered U.K. printing company Smith and Ouzman to pay a total of £2.2 million for making corrupt payments. The sentence and conviction followed a four-year investigation by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office.
As Compliance Week previously reported, a jury in December 2014 convicted father and son executives from Smith and Ouzman under the Prevention of Corruption Act for making corrupt payments totaling £395,074 to public officials in Kenya and Mauritania in exchange for business contracts, according to the SFO. The SFO started its investigation in October 2010, concerning offenses that occurred from 2006 to 2010.
In a warning to other companies, SFO Director David Green said in a statement that the SFO “will pursue such criminal behavior at both the corporate and individual level.”
Smith and Ouzman Chairman Christopher John Smith was given a suspended sentence of 18 months with a three-month curfew and ordered to conduct 250 hours of unpaid work. His son, Nicholas Charles Smith, sales and marketing director of the company, was sentenced to three years imprisonment for three counts, which will run concurrently, the SFO said. Both were barred from acting as company directors for six years. The company also was convicted of three offenses and will be sentenced later, the SFO said.
The sum broken down included a fine of £1.3 million, as well as £881,158 to satisfy a confiscation order applied for by the SFO and £25,000 in costs. The fine is payable in installments every six months until the full amount is paid, while the confiscation order must be satisfied within 28 days and the costs paid within six months.
A confiscation order of £18,693 was imposed on Nicholas Smith, payable within eight weeks. He was also ordered to pay costs of £75,000 within nine months. Christopher Smith was ordered to pay £4,500 in confiscation within seven days and costs of £75,000 within three months.