January 15, 2021

SFO closes investigation into British American Tobacco

On January 15, 2021, the UK Serious Fraud Office announced that it had concluded its investigation into British American Tobacco Plc and its subsidiaries because the standards for prosecution laid out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors were not met by the evidence in the case.

The SFO first disclosed its investigation in August 2017, reporting that the London-based tobacco manufacturer, its subsidiaries and associated persons were under investigation for corruption.  In regulatory filings since then, BAT has stated that it is conducting an internal investigation of allegations of misconduct, and confirmed that it was cooperating with investigations by the UK Serious Fraud Office, the US Department of Justice, and the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.  According to the SFO, investigations of BAT by other law enforcement agencies are ongoing.

SFO case update | BAT news release