Business Crime Update | August 2020

Written on 10 Aug 2020

Welcome to the first OC Business Crime Newsletter that we have published since the UK went into its Covid-19 lockdown on 23 March. We hope that you, your families and your teams have all fared well in these strained times and that the weeks ahead will see some normality return.

As with every crisis, there will sadly be those who seek an improper advantage, and so we commence this newsletter with a look at how HMRC is targeting furlough fraud and how this may impact on business generally. We also have a video briefing (shot before the lockdown) in which Ian Hyde and I look at HMRC corporate tax investigations more broadly.

The OC international business crime team continues to grow, and we welcome Yvette Anthony who joins our colleagues in Singapore and who we profile in this issue.

We also include:

  • Analysis of the most recent UK Deferred Prosecution Agreement involving G4S
  • An overview of the recently announced stand-alone UK sanctioning regime
  • A summary new anti-bribery compliance guidance now released in the US
  • A look at new anti-corruption provisions in India

As ever, if we can assist with any business crime issue, please do not hesitate to contact me, and in the interim stay safe and my best wishes.

Jeremy Summers 

Covid-19 leading to a rise in fraud and economic crime risks

The coronavirus crisis has brought a rise in many different types of fraud, and, while some authorities are prepared to give leeway on certain risk mitigation activities, businesses need to ensure they remain alert to current and future risks.

A recent online panel discussion on Covid-19 fraud issues, organised by StoneTurn, considered the investigation of fraud and economic crime issues that have arisen from the ongoing pandemic.

The webinar-based discussion was joined by Alex Rothwell, the UK's National Co-ordinator for Fraud and Economic Crime, who gave an overview of the current policing perspective on these issues.

Read more >

HMRC and corporate investigations: criminal tax prosecution risks

Companies need increasingly to ensure that their tax arrangements are compliant as HMRC exerts new powers and exercises closer scrutiny on corporate activity.

In this video, Jeremy Summers, head of Osborne Clarke's Business Crime Unit, and Ian Hyde, head of Osborne Clarke’s tax dispute practice, engage in a broad discussion on recent developments relating to HMRC and corporate tax investigations including the connection between tax evasion and money laundering and possible breach of the Criminal Finance Act.

Read more >

Welcome to Yvette Anthony who joins our colleagues in Singapore

A highly regarded Singapore disputes practitioner, Yvette Anthony is experienced in commercial litigation and regulatory matters.

One of the highlight's of her regulatory and investigation experience has been advising a major financial institution in its potential exposure to the adverse publicity surrounding the Malaysian government's strategic development company 1 MDB.

Full profile >

Serious Fraud Office wins approval for eighth Deferred Prosecution Agreement

Security firm G4S's commitment to remediation has led to a £44m sanction to avoid prosecution, but the agreement also includes a significant new development with a reviewer required to monitor future compliance.

The decision yet again reiterates that self-reporting, co-operation with the authorities and ensuring effective remediation will be critical factors in a successful application for a DPA.

Read more >

UK sanctions regime diverges from the EU’s as government names its first post-Brexit targets

The UK has introduced regulations imposing sanctions on 49 individuals for violations of human rights in the first changes to the regime post-Brexit.

The Global Humans Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 came into force in July 2020 and is the first time that the UK has introduced sanctions in its own right following its departure from the European Union.

These new sanctions show that the UK's intention is to set its own independent, and more far-reaching, sanctions policy as part of its foreign policy agenda.

Read more >

US federal agencies update resource guide on foreign corruption practices

The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission's have released the second edition of the Resource Guide to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with a series of updates to reflect developments since its first publication eight years ago.

The latest edition contains a detailed compilation of information and analysis linked to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including the statutory requirements of the Act, and incorporates hypothetical and practical examples based on more recent enforcement actions.

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India makes further changes to companies, money laundering and procurement laws

India has continued the reform of its financial and corporate laws intending to fight white-collar crime and improve business conditions in the world's fifth-largest economy.

Moves to decriminalise provisions of the Companies Act and to shield independent directors from unnecessary prosecution are part of a broader government initiative to make it easier to do business in India.

Anti-money laundering law amendments will help the fight against business crime. New procurement rules giving preference to domestic cybersecurity products aim to boost India's national and economic security.

Read more >