Does the SFO attack on dividends signal a reversal of fortune for investors?
The recent order obtained by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in relation to dividends received by Mabey Engineering (Holdings) Limited (MEH) under Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 has attracted significant publicity.
Under the Order MEH was ordered to pay over £130,000 in respect of sums it received through share dividends derived from contracts won through unlawful conduct. MEH is the parent company of modular bridge manufacturers Mabey and Johnson Ltd (M&J) which pleaded guilty to charges of corruption and breaches of United Nations sanctions and was convicted at Southwark Crown Court in September 2009.
M&J has been working with the SFO from the beginning of 2008 when it approached the authorities to highlight irregularities it hadidentified as a result of an internal investigation.
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