Balfour pays SFO £2m over accounting irregularities

Inaccurate accounting at a
Balfour Beatty
subsidiary has seen the
Serious Fraud
issue it first ever civil recovery order, costing the
construction business over £2.25m.

The SFO issued the order after Balfour Beatty brought attention to inaccurate
accounting at a subsidiary entity during the construction of the Bibliotheca
project in Alexandrina, Egypt.

Payment irregularities in relation to completing the project were found by
Balfour and the SFO was notified.

In a consent order agreed before the High Court today, Balfour Beatty agreed
to a settlement payment of £2.25m together with a contribution towards the costs
of the CRO proceedings.

It has also voluntarily agreed to introduce certain compliance systems, and
to submit these systems to a form of external monitoring for an agreed period.

The SFO gained new powers from April, which includes the ability to recover
property obtained by unlawful conduct.

The SFO does not require a specific offence to be established against a
business or individual, merely that the property sought is the proceeds of an
unlawful act.

In the case of Balfour Beatty, the SFO investigation concluded that there was
no financial benefit to any individual employee and most of the relevant
individuals have long since left the company.

It welcomed Balfour Beatty’s transparent and responsible approach in self
reporting this issue.

‘This is a highly significant development in our efforts to reform British
corporate behaviour,’ said Richard Alderman, director of the SFO.

Further reading:

SFO probe to unveil first case
under changed plans

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