Solicitor general hints at SFO turning point

first_imgRobert BucklandAlison Geary, counsel at international firm WilmerHale, said Buckland’s words were a ’turning point’ for the SFO. ’In praising the agency’s results over the past year – from its high-profile cases, high conviction rate and successful DPAs – the solicitor general surely puts beyond question the SFO’s future as an independent investigator and prosecutor,’ she said.Jonathan Pickworth, partner at US firm White & Case’s London office, added: ‘It is good to see positive messages about the SFO coming from the government. The past few years have seen far too much uncertainty about the SFO’s future, which is unhelpful for recruitment and retention and can impact on how investigations are managed. The SFO is receiving the plaudits now that it has marked itself out as an enforcement agency to be feared, and a significant generator of revenue for the Treasury.’Also today, Buckland reiterated that the Criminal Finance Act, which will introduce several new provisions for tackling economic crime, will be introduced in the autumn.Among the measures in the act include the creation of an unexplained wealth order, which will make it more straightforward for law enforcement to take away property from those suspected of wrongdoing and who cannot explain how they obtained the money to pay for it.Reacting to the news, Robert Amaee, partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, said the unexplained wealth order would provide a ‘novel legal tool’. However, he said defence counsel ’will need to safeguard’ against any over-enthusiastic use of the tool by law enforcement. Issues could include the subsequent use of information obtained through coercion and the question of any applicable immunity when dealing with a politically exposed person, Amaee said.Buckland added that the government had completed its call for evidence on whether the failure to prevent act should be extended beyond bribery to other areas of economic crime, including money laundering, false accounting and fraud. A criminal offence for corporations who fail to stop their staff facilitating tax evasion – both in the UK and overseas – was introduced under the act.Amaee said the extension of the ‘failure to prevent’ offence lends itself to the drive by the government and prosecutors to encourage companies to enter into settlement discussions under the deferred prosecution agreement.‘Companies with the potential to get caught in the crossfire, and in particular those responsible for their corporate governance and compliance, will be mindful of the need to review their policies and procedures to ensure preparedness,’ he said.The Law Society said it plans to publish a practice note related to the act shortly. The future of the Serious Fraud Office appears brighter today after the solicitor general praised its work and high conviction rate.Speaking at the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime, Robert Buckland MP said the SFO was continuing to deal with ‘some of the most high profile cases’. He noted that the office has opened 12 new investigations in 2016-17 and brought charges against 25 companies and had a conviction rate per defendant of 89%. He also praised the deferred prosecution agreement with Rolls Royce.Buckland added that the charges brought against Barclays plc and four of its former executives have all been important in demonstrating that economic crime will be ‘responded to with the seriousness it requires’.The SFO’s future has been the subject of speculation since a pre-election pledge by the Conservative party to merge it with the National Crime Agency.The symposium, held at Jesus College, also heard from departing SFO director David Green, who said he believed the office was in good shape.On the manifesto proposal he said the office was ‘awaiting proposals and the underlying evidence justifying them’. He said he understood that a decision was ‘in hand’. Green, who will step down from his role in April next year, added: ‘The SFO is confident, attracting excellent staff, and well able to deal with the kind of case for which it was intended.’last_img read more

DOT Crews Perform Emergency Maintenance On Seward Highway After Heavy Rockfall

first_imgThe field survey will help the design team determine a combination of solutions to reduce rock fall hazards, including scaling (preemptively removing rock that is likely to fall), draped mesh, rock bolts, and development of ditches, according to DOT. DOT crews are currently doing emergency maintenance work on the highway at MP 107 to MP 110 starting at 9am until 4pm. McCarthy: “We are removing the fallen rocks from the ditches, any debris that may have came down, and clearing all of that out. We want our ditches to be clear of obstructions so that way if a rock does come down it will land into the ditch, and not bounce into the roadway.” Shannon McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Transportation: “Most of the rocks that fell that were relatively small, but we did have a rock come down in the middle of the night that was around the size of a small car. As the temperatures rise and we have these really strong storms, the wind is just driving the rain into all the cracks where there was ice holding things together. As it drives that rain in it melts all the ice over and over again, and that’s the mechanics that causes those rocks that are already fractured to come down.” Photo provided by DOT FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A total of five rock slides hit the Seward Highway along the Turnagain arm area on Monday night prompting traffic delays and road closures. Rocks and debris fell from the cliffs first at Mile 111, near McHugh Creek, and fell across the highway. The slides were prompted by a massive wind storm that swept through the area. Over the summer DOT began field investigations on the Highway Safety Project: Seward Highway Rock Fall Mitigation. Work includes analyses of locations between mileposts (MP) 104 and 114 an area with a history of rock fall. Construction is anticipated in summer 2020 and is estimated to cost between $10 and $20 million.last_img read more

NFL teams line up to woo La’el Collins

first_imgFormer LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins has drawn a lot of attention from NFL teams.Former LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins has drawn a lot of attention from NFL teams.He may have gone undrafted, but LSU’s La’el Collins isn’t unwanted.The Miami Herald reported that several Dolphins players, including former LSU teammates Jarvis Landry and Anthony Johnson, headed to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to recruit Collins.Once projected as a first-round pick, Collins went undrafted last weekend because of being linked to a slain ex-girlfriend.Among the teams expressing interest in Collins according to various media reports in addition to Miami include: Buffalo, New England, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Detroit and the New York Giants.That list grew on Wednesday as Collins met with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and several of the team’s players.According to the Herald, teams can offer Collins a contract for as much as $1.58 million over three years.last_img read more