Voluntary Disclosure and the UK Proceeds of Crime Act: the Final Act in the Mabey & Johnson Case

On 13 January 2012, the UK Serious Fraud Office announced an enforcement action that highlights the far reaching use prosecutors can make of proceeds of crime legislation to combat serious economic crime.

The Mabey action is the first time the SFO has used the civil recovery order (“CRO”) mechanism contained in the UK Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to target dividends already paid to shareholders in the UK. In announcing this action, the SFO signalled its intention to use the CRO mechanism to recover the proceeds of crime from shareholders that fail to conduct sufficient due diligence on the business practices of the companies in which they invest.

International law firm Covington and Burling LLP have produced  very useful briefing note. Click here: to download. It is essential reading for all corporate wrongdoing practitioners.