Author: Zulfi Meerza 29 November 2023
Zulfi Meerza was asked by Law360 about the significance of the UK’s first deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) not to be concluded by the Serious Fraud Office.
Under the DPA, which has been reached with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), gambling company Entain is to pay £585 million. It follows an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation into a Turkish online business that Entain owned between 2011 and 2017 and the activities of former third-party suppliers and former employees of the group.
Zulfi said that HMRC and the CPS will have worked closely together on the investigation. He emphasised that while the SFO has "clearly had primacy" in bringing bribery DPAs, the latest one shows that the CPS has the appetite for resolving corporate investigations using all the powers at its disposal.
Zulfi also stated that the Entain case shows that companies have to be on their guard.
"The Entain case is a reminder that HMRC will utilise its powers across a broad range of offences, including bribery, particularly where the facts of the case might fall within their investigative remit."
Zulfi explained that the fact that HMRC has not yet brought a corporate prosecution for the Criminal Finances Act 2017 offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion illustrates “the inherent difficulties in bringing such prosecutions against companies."
The full article can be read here.
Senior Associate Solicitor
Zulfi’s in-depth expertise in corporate crime investigations, serious regulatory matters and complex commercial litigation makes him a logical choice to represent corporates, board members, senior business figures and high net worth individuals.