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Convicted printing company sentenced and ordered to pay £2.2 million

8 Ionawr, 2016 | Eitemau newyddion

UK printing company Smith and Ouzman Ltd, convicted of making corrupt payments, was today ordered to pay a total of £2.2 million in a sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court. The conviction and sentence follows a four-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

The Eastbourne-based company, which specialises in security documents such as ballot papers and exam certificates, was convicted in December 2014 under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. The corrupt payments totalling £395,074 were made to public officials for business contracts in Kenya and Mauritania.

The sum broken down included a fine of £1,316,799 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 instalments 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.

Two employees of the company were sentenced in February last year for their role in the corruption. Its chairman, Christopher John Smith, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Nicholas Charles Smith, the sales and marketing director of the company, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

A confiscation order of £18,693 was today 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.

In passing sentence, Recorder Andrew Mitchell QC said:

“Corruption of foreign officials is damaging to the country in which the corruption occurs, is damaging to the reputation of UK business and of course, in the market in which a business operates, it is anti-competitive.”

Director of the SFO, David Green CB QC commented:

“The bribery of foreign officials by UK companies damages this country’s reputation, commercially, politically and ethically. The SFO will pursue such criminal behaviour at both the corporate and individual level.”

Notes for editors:

  1. The case was accepted for investigation in October 2010.  Further information on the case and the conviction can be found here. Further information on the sentencing of the two defendants can be found here.