Former head slams SFO direction

Richard Alderman, new SFO head

Richard Alderman, new SFO head

One of the most successful recent heads of the
SFO has added her voice to
concerns that the fraud office may be forsaking the big company cases it is
noted for.

Ros Wright, director of the SFO from 1996 to 2003, is the latest figure to
add her concerns about the new SFO head Richard Alderman’s comments that he was
interested in consumer frauds.

‘To say he is going to consider consumer fraud is not what the SFO is there
for as there are other organisations such as the Office of Fair Trading and
trading standards set up to do this,’ she said.

Wright added that the newly created fraud prosecution service, part of the
Crown Prosecution Service, was there to tackle mid-sized fraud cases: ‘The BAE
Systems case is the sort of case they should be doing.’

Referring to the row over the pursuit of the BAE case, she said: ‘The
director should have been completely independent and not been susceptible to
political interference and this applies to any investigation.’

Chris Dickson, a former lawyer with the SFO at the time of the BCCI
investigation, said: ‘If the SFO is not going to concentrate on the big cases,
there’s no-one else who can.’

SFO spokesman Sam Jaffa denied the organisation was changing direction.

‘There’s no let up in investigations involving big ticket corporate cases.
The SFO is interested in victims of both individuals and corporate
organisations,’ he said.

He added that the SFO has increased its education programme to inform
consumers and corporate leaders about the best ways of reducing and preventing

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