The Civil Recovery Unit recovered £2.2 million on 29 March 2016 under an agreed civil settlement with a Glasgow-based company which accepted that it had obtained business through unlawful conduct.
The company, which has a number of subsidiaries, specialises in freight and logistics. In 2012, the company became aware of potentially dishonest activities in relation to two freight forwarding contracts entered into by a subsidiary. The company initiated an investigation, which revealed there had been breaches of the terms of the Bribery Act 2010.
The first contract related to an agreement between an employee of the company, and the employee of a customer company. An account was used as a means for unauthorised personal expenses amounting to £475,000 to be incurred by the customer’s employee between 2007 and 213. This was funded by the dishonest inflation of invoices provided to the customer.
During the investigation into the above contract, separate bribery offences in relation to a second customer were discovered.
A profit sharing arrangement with a director of the customer company had been operated, where the profit achieved on services provided to the customer was split, in return for orders continuing to be placed with the company. This occurred over a number of years, with the last instance being in September 2013.
As a consequence of the investigation, the company voluntarily made a self-report to the Crown Office and accepted that they failed in their responsibility to prevent this happening, similarly accepting responsibility for a contravention of Sections 1 and 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. The settlement reflected the value of the benefit derived by the company from the unlawful conduct.