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27 June 2016
Following its guilty plea on December 18 2015, Sweett Group Plc was sentenced on February 19 2016 at Southwark Crown Court and ordered to pay £2.25 million. As reported in "Section 7 of Bribery Act in spotlight", this was the first guilty plea to a Bribery Act 2010 Section 7 offence.
Sweett Group Plc admitted failing to prevent an act of bribery intended to secure and retain a contract, contrary to Section 7(1)(b) of the Bribery Act. The Serious Fraud Office's investigation identified that Sweett Group Plc's subsidiary, Cyril Sweett International Limited, had made corrupt payments to an individual to secure and retain a contract with an insurance company for project management and cost consulting services in relation to the construction of a hotel in Abu Dhabi. The Serious Fraud Office is still investigating individuals in relation to the bribery of Mr Al Badie.
The landmark judgment was passed by Justice Beddoe in accordance with Section 125(1) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and the sentencing guidelines set out by the Sentencing Council on October 1 2014. The total penalty of £2.25 million is broken down to £1.4 million in fines, £851,152 in confiscation, plus £95,000 in costs to the Serious Fraud Office.
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Michael J Atkinson