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ALCA Fasteners Ltd

On the 30th May 2019, Carole Ann Hodson pleaded guilty to bribery in relation to a scheme to secure £12m worth of contracts for ALCA Fasteners Ltd, a company she owned at the time of the offences.

An investigation was opened on 20th December 2017 into suspected bribery and money laundering in connection with the conduct of business by ALCA, including its officers, employees, agents and associated persons. This was prompted by a Company Self-Referral by ALCA and three of its directors.

Between 1 July 2011 and 31 July 2016, Hodson made bribe payments totalling £293,234.75 to Terje Moe, a purchasing manager employed by the Würth Group of companies, a customer of ALCA Fasteners.

Under the scheme, which continued until his retirement, Moe would receive 2.5% of the total of every order made by his company to ALCA Fasteners.

The bribes, which were paid in monthly cash instalments, came as 64 separate payments over the period. On one occasion, Ms Hodson also sent bespoke jewellery to Moe in a brown envelope placed within a shipment to his employer.

False invoices were created to justify the cash transfers, recorded in ALCA Fasteners’ accounts as ‘sales commission payments’ or other payments not related to genuine transactions, with Hodson later lying to her company’s auditors to disguise the true nature of the payments. To maintain the value of her company prior to selling it in 2017, Hodson then lied to the purchasers by claiming that the company had not been involved in any unlawful conduct.

Carole Ann Hodson pleaded guilty to one count of bribery contrary to section 1 of the Bribery Act 2010.

Terje Moe, the purchasing manager, pleaded guilty to two charges relating to the receipt of bribes, contrary to the Norwegian Criminal Code, on 6 July 2018 in Norway.

This investigation into individuals involved in this conduct is ongoing. The Company and its new directors continue to cooperate in the investigation. No further information about the SFO’s case will be released at this time.

Hodson will be committed to Crown Court for sentencing.

Page published on 30 May 2019