New plans to tackle corporate fraud
New proposals to crack down on ‘economic crimes’ such as fraud and money laundering are to be considered later this year.
The Ministry of Justice will consult on plans to extend the scope of the criminal offence of a corporate ‘failing to prevent’ beyond bribery and tax evasion to other economic crimes.
Police and other law enforcement agencies can struggle to prosecute corporations for money laundering, false accounting, and fraud under existing common laws.
The consultation will seek views and evidence to assess whether changes in the law could allow the courts to more effectively prosecute corporate economic crime.
Justice Minister Dominic Raab said:
The government is finding new ways to tackle economic crime and we are taking a rigorous and robust approach to corporations that fail to prevent bribery or allow the tax evasion on their behalf.
We now want to carefully consider whether the evidence justifies any further extension of this model to other areas of economic crime, so that large corporations are properly held to account.
The consultation, published this summer, will explore whether the ‘failure to prevent’ model should be extended to complement existing legal and regulatory frameworks.
The consultation follows the recent announcement by the Prime Minister to bring forward a criminal offence for corporations who fail to stop their staff facilitating tax evasion and two recent prosecutions for the offence of failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery on its behalf.