22 February 2016
David Corker comments on the conviction of Sweett Group under the Bribery Act in The FT, Bloomberg and The Brief
Sweett Group, the UK’s only listed quantity surveyor, was ordered to pay £1.4m after becoming the first company to be convicted under the Bribery Act.
It was also told to pay a confiscation order of £851,000 and costs to the Serious Fraud Office of £95,000.
In sentencing the company, Judge Martin Beddoe said he was taking into consideration that “corrupt payments were made under that corrupt agreement for no less than 18 months” and that the company deliberately tried to mislead the SFO after the agency had opened an investigation.
“The conduct of Sweett Group is a textbook example of how not to co-operate with the SFO. Today’s sentencing of the company is an important lesson of what can happen when a company under SFO investigation appears to co-operate with the regulator but covertly seeks to frustrate it.”