The head of our investigations unit, Tony McClements, believes that a merger between the Serious Fraud Office (UK) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) would not only secure the SFO’s remit for the future, but provide its team with the additional resources and expertise that it currently lacks.
Agree? Read his latest thoughts exclusively for The FCPA Blog (excerpt below) ⬇️
How can Lisa Osofsky save the Serious Fraud Office?
Last week, SFO head Lisa Osofsky told British lawmakers that she regretted the agency’s “damaging relationship” with an American private investigator during a major corruption probe into oil consultancy Unaoil, which ultimately led to three UK convictions being overturned.
Appearing before Parliament’s Justice Committee, Osofsky apologized for holding a private meeting with David Tinsley, a middleman working for individuals that the SFO was investigating, days after she joined the anti-fraud watchdog as director.
(A dual U.S./UK national, Osofsky began her career working as a U.S. federal prosecutor, later joining the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice).
The SFO was found to have denied three men a fair trial by withholding evidence of its inappropriate dealings with Tinsley, a fixer hired by members of Unaoil’s founding Ahsani family, who sought to persuade two defendants to plead guilty in return for lenient treatment for his clients.
Osofsky said in front of the Justice Committee, “I did it. Do I regret that I did that? Absolutely. Do I wish I had done things differently? I do. I see the impact on our office and victims.”
These events take place against a more troubling backdrop…