BusinessBusiness RecoverySFO backs off from MG Rover probe

SFO backs off from MG Rover probe

Serious Fraud Office will not open an investigation into collapse of the car giant, keeping its reasons under wraps because BDO report is not in the public domain

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Fraud watchdogs have backed off from starting an investigation into the sale
of MG Rover after its
collapse,
one of the UK’s biggest ever automotive administrations.

BDO Stoy Hayward was
called
in to investigate
the corporate failure in 2005, which cost more than £14.8m
over the course of the four-year probe.

The government was accused of kicking the issue into the long grass by
referring the case to the Serious Fraud Office, and the investigators have
announced this morning that no probe would be taking place.

The referral saw the publication of BDO Stoy Hayward’s report put on ice. To
compound the situation, the SFO has said it could not expand on why it had
decided not to investigate because the report was still not in the public
domain.

The SFO said: ‘The Serious Fraud Office has announced that it does not intend
to begin a criminal investigation into the sale of car manufacturer, MG Rover
Group, following a review of documents sent by the Department of Business,
Innovation and Skills.’

BDO’s report was referred to the SFO on 6 July by Lord Mandelson the business
secretary after he studied the findings.

Following the referral, a small team of SFO investigators studied the report
and made recommendations to the SFO’s Director, Richard Alderman.

He read the recommendations, read the report itself and took advice from the
SFO General Counsel, Vivian Robinson, QC, and an external opinion also from
eminent lawyer, Clare Montgomery QC.

‘The Director then made the decision not to initiate a criminal
investigation,’ the SFO said.

‘As the inspectors’ report has not been made public, the SFO is unable to go
into
detail about the reasons for its decision.’

Further reading:

MG
Rover report prompts SFO investigation

Small
payout for MG Rover creditors

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