Typically, these conditions include payments (fine, compensation, fees), ongoing co-operation tasks and the satisfactory conclusion of a business reform program – perhaps with a monitor. If the company concerned fulfils these conditions within the agreed time frame, the public prosecutor will terminate the criminal proceedings and the company will avoid the risk of conviction. However, if it does not meet these conditions, the prosecutor will reactivate the procedure and continue to monitor the company. Protecting the reputation of our customers and keeping control if they are subject to media scrutiny is what we do. A strategic decision by the SFO to use “supergrass” evidence also raises the inevitable question of what SFO can actually offer an individual through “incentives.” In the common law, when an accused was convicted, a brown envelope, known as “text,” was handed over to a judge. The “text” would set out the aid and its value. The judge would then ascertain whether this should be reflected in the sentence. The “text” was treated with great discretion and was not mentioned openly by the judge in his reasons for judgment. In accordance with Section 73 of SOCPA, the court receives relevant documents, including case law, the signed SOCPA agreement and a confidential report detailing the value of the assistance granted. If a lesser sentence is imposed on the basis of this assistance, the judge must indicate what the sentence would have been, but for such support (unless it is not in the public interest to do so).
The sentence that would otherwise have been imposed is relevant to any subsequent referral to the court in point 74, if it is established that the offender was not helpful. However, the British system requires a “supergrass” to “jump into the unknown.” They must ensure full and transparent cooperation, without the SFO giving assurances that their sentence will be reduced and to what extent. The judgment is ultimately left to the discretion of the judge. The current Director has clearly drawn attention to the UK`s rapprochement with the US system and closer cooperation between the SFO and the DOJ. Such changes can lead to greater success for the SFO in monitoring data protection authorities and individual prosecutions. The SFO can fully strengthen its business by obtaining the witnesses it currently lacks through a more strategic approach to the offer of immunity. We can also see that fewer cases are reaching the trial stage because the power to offer immunity from prosecution is more used. If and when the criminality is introduced, the crime of economic crime will probably protect the PA from further criticism of inconsistencies between the torment of the company and the acquittal of an individual. The fact that the SFO did not demonstrate the involvement of individuals in the behaviour explicitly considered a crime within the data protection authorities gave rise to a review and raised questions about the nature of the large fines imposed by data protection authorities. In the absence of a rigorous review of the available evidence, questions were raised as to whether data protection authorities were really a “soft option” for companies to free themselves from their responsibilities and avoid the risk of possible prosecution.
The SFO has concluded four data protection authorities with (i) Standard Bank, (ii) XYZ Limited, (iii) Tesco Plc and (iv) Rolls Royce. Whether these data protection authorities can be considered as successes is measured financially rather than as a conclusive conclusion for a criminal investigation, particularly with respect to the continuation of individual behaviour. Simply put, they allow a sued company to avoid a procedure provided it meets certain conditions. Data protection authorities can be used for specific economic crimes, including fraud and corruption. In October 2020, the SFO published a chapter of its manual, which provides detailed guidance on how data protection authorities