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SFO offers no evidence against Nicholas Woods and Simon Marshall

26 April, 2021 | Case Updates

The SFO has offered no evidence against Nicholas Woods and Simon Marshall. The Judge has directed the jury to return verdicts of not guilty.

This follows a prosecution review of its disclosure process for the trial, which uncovered errors made in the non-disclosure of certain materials. The SFO sought an adjournment to remedy the position so that it could pursue a retrial, but this was rejected by the Judge.

We are considering how best to undertake an assessment to prevent this from happening in the future.

After an investigation by the SFO, Serco accepted in 2019 that it defrauded the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) during a contract to provide electronic monitoring of prisoners. Serco has since paid a penalty of £19.2 million and the SFO’s costs of £3.7m. 

This is in addition to the £12.8m compensation already paid by Serco to the MoJ as part of a £70m civil settlement in 2013.

Notes to editors:

  1. Simon Marshall, former Operations Director of Field Services within Serco, was charged with three counts of fraud in relation to representations made to the Ministry of Justice between 2011 and 2013.
  2. Nicholas Woods, former Finance Director of Serco Home Affairs, was charged with one count of fraud in relation to representations made to the Ministry of Justice in 2011.
  3. The SFO entered into a DPA with Serco Geografix Ltd on 4 July 2019. In entering the DPA, SGL has taken responsibility for three offences of fraud and two of false accounting arising from a scheme to dishonestly mislead the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) as to the true extent of the profits being made between 2010 and 2013 by SGL’s parent company, Serco Limited (SL), from its contract for the provision of electronic monitoring services.


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