Four men were today sentenced for their roles in bribing state officials in Indonesia and Iraq, following a Serious Fraud Office investigation into Associated Octel Corporation (subsequently renamed Innospec).
- Dennis Kerrison, 69, of Chertsey, Surrey, was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
- Paul Jennings, 57, of Neston, Cheshire, was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
- Miltiades Papachristos, 51 of Thessaloniki, Greece, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
- David Turner, 59, of Newmarket, Suffolk, was sentenced to a 16 month suspended sentence with 300 hours unpaid work
Mr Kerrison and Dr Papachristos were convicted of conspiracy to commit corruption in June 2014 in relation to Indonesia only. Mr Jennings pleaded guilty in June 2012 to two charges of conspiracy to commit corruption and in July 2012 to a further charge of conspiracy to commit corruption in relation to Indonesia and Iraq. Dr Turner pleaded guilty to three charges of conspiracy to commit corruption in January 2012 in relation to Indonesia and Iraq.
Further information on the guilty verdict delivered in the trial of Mr Kerrison and Dr Papachristos can be found here, while information on the guilty pleas entered into by Dr Turner and Mr Jennings can be found here and here.
Upon sentencing the defendants, HHJ Goymer said:
"Corruption in this company was endemic, institutionalised and ingrained… but despite being a separate legal entity it is not an automated machine; decisions are made by human minds.
"None of these defendants would consider themselves in the same category as common criminals who commit crimes of dishonesty or violence….. but the real harm lies in the effect on public life, the effect on community and in particular with this corruption, its effect on the environment. If a company registered or based in the UK engages in bribery of foreign officials it tarnishes the reputation of this country in the international arena."
Concerning the sentencing of Dr Turner, the Judge also said:
"It is necessary to give encouragement to those involved in serious crime to cooperate with authorities. You [Dr Turner] very narrowly indeed escaped going to prison."
David Green CB QC, Director of the SFO said:
"This successful conclusion to a long-running investigation demonstrates the SFO's ability and determination to bring corporate criminals to justice."
Innospec itself pleaded guilty in March 2010 to bribing state officials in Indonesia and was fined $12.7 million in England with additional penalties being imposed in the USA.
Dr Turner was also ordered to pay £10,000 towards prosecution costs and Mr Jennings was ordered to pay £5000 towards these costs. Dr Turner and Mr Jennings have already been subject to disgorgement of benefit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The matter of costs for Mr Kerrison and Dr Papachristos has been adjourned pending the hearing of confiscation proceedings against them.
Notes to editors:
- The SFO investigation into the conduct of these individuals was assisted by the US Department of Justice, the US Securities & Exchange Commission, the City of London Police, the Cheshire Constabulary, Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission and the Swiss and Singaporean authorities. The SFO would like to thank all agencies who helped to bring the case against the defendants.
- The SFO is an independent government department responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious and complex fraud, bribery and corruption. It is headed by the Director, David Green CB QC, who exercises powers under the superintendence of the Attorney General. These powers are derived from the Criminal Justice Act 1987.
- Please contact SFO Press Office on 020 7 239 7316/ 7004 / 7000 or 07827 307 698 or 07557 009 842 (out of hours) or visit www.sfo.gov.uk