UK Deferred Prosecution Agreements: How Useful Will They Be?

25 September 2012
International Financial Law Review
In recent years, the UK government has made a number of changes to the way it deals with and prosecutes so-called corporate economic crime such as fraud, corruption and money laundering. In 2002, the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) vastly expanded prosecutors' ability to gain disgorgement of criminal proceeds, and strengthened enforcement of money laundering. In 2009, the Attorney General issued the Guidelines on Plea Discussions in Cases of Serious or Complex Fraud (A-G Guidelines) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) issued the Approach of the Serious Fraud Office to Dealing with Overseas Corruption (SFO Approach). Both of these aimed to increase detection and enforcement of crimes committed within companies. A year later, Parliament passed the Bribery Act, which created the crime of failing to prevent bribery – an offence aimed solely at commercial organisations.