R v Bluu Solutions Limited and Tetris Projects Limited
The Serious Fraud Office opened a criminal investigation into suspected bribery at Bluu Solutions Limited (BSL) and Tetris Projects Limited (TPL) in 2017.
The SFO secured two Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) on 19th July 2021, with BSL and TPL, which are both subsidiaries of real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle.
Following the agreement of the DPAs, an investigation into individuals continued, resulting in Roger Dewhirst pleading guilty to two counts of accepting or agreeing to receive bribes, totalling approximately £290,998, contrary to Section 2(1) and (2) of the Bribery Act 2010 on 31st May 2021.
Deferred Prosecution Agreements
Under the terms of the DPAs, BSL has accepted responsibility for four offences of bribery and one offence of failure to prevent bribery during the tender process for five office refurbishment contracts worth approximately £11.5 million.
TPL has accepted responsibility for one offence of failure to prevent bribery amounting to £2.62 million.
The DPA requires the companies to pay a combined penalty of over £1.9 million and to pay back all profit obtained through bribery, £604,407. The DPA contains a requirement for TPL to follow a 24-month compliance plan (the “Compliance Plan”).
The DPAs relate to the criminal liability of Bluu Solutions Ltd and Tetris Projects Limited. They do not address whether liability of any sort attaches to any employee, agent, former employee or former agent of Bluu Solutions Ltd and Tetris Projects Limited.
The DPAs, Statement of Facts and Judgment of Mrs Justice May can be found here.
Outcome of Criminal Case
The DPA Statement of Facts and Judgment contain anonymised names of individuals subsequently acquitted at trial. These individuals are subject to an anonymisation order and cannot be named.
Director 1 and Director 2 each denied the criminal conduct alleged. Director 1 and Director 2 were charged with offences under the Bribery Act 2010 arising from the SFO investigation and were acquitted of all charges.
Agent 2 was charged with offences under the Bribery Act 2010 arising from the SFO investigation and was acquitted of all charges.
A note on individuals
In relation to the individuals referred to in the DPA judgment, Mrs Justice May DBE, the judge who approved these DPAs made clear that:
- …[I]n deciding whether or not to approve the DPA, the court exercises no fact-finding function, being dependent for its assessment upon the facts agreed between the parties and presented to it as part of the application. The court’s role is one of oversight only, making an independent assessment of the public interest in arriving at the DPA and of the reasonableness, fairness and proportionality of the particular terms which the parties have agreed.
- That assessment must necessarily include consideration of the level of seriousness of the offending and the culpability of the company concerned. As companies can only act through individuals it will often – almost invariably – be the case that a consideration of the seriousness of the corporate offending will involve reference to the actions of individuals. That is certainly the case here. However the facts which have been agreed between the SFO and the corporate Respondents and set out in the Statement of Facts in this case, or presented orally to me at the hearings, have not been agreed by any of the individuals to which I refer in this judgment, nor have they been asked for their comments. Accordingly where, for the purposes of explaining my reasons for granting the necessary declarations, I make reference to the conduct of individuals I wish to emphasise that I am making no findings of fact concerning them.
Tudalen wedi ei chyhoeddi ar 17 Awst 2021 | Tudalen wedi ei haddasu ar 9 Maw 2023