April 18, 2022

Crown Prosecution Service sentences individuals and entities for participating in bribery scheme

On April 14, 2022, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that a group of individuals and entities were sentenced in the Southwark Crown Court for their roles in a bribery scheme involving a senior manager for Coca Cola Enterprises UK Limited (CCE), with each person avoiding prison for their role in the scheme.  The CPS reports that Noel Corry, who had formerly worked as a senior manager for CCE since October 1996 and handled the selection of subcontractors for site service work at CCE, accepted £950,000 ($1.23 million) worth of bribes from prospective contractors in exchange for CCE contracts and receiving confidential tender information about rival bids in order to receive a competitive advantage for electrical work contracts.  The bribes were allegedly paid in the form of cash, free tickets to sporting and entertainment events and sponsorship of Corry’s local football club.  The CPS reports that some of the contracts awarded were “fresh air” contracts that required little or no actual work to be performed.

According to the CPS, Peter Kinsella, a regional manager with WABGS Limited (previously known as Boulting Group Limited) paid Corry just over £600,000 ($780,000) to obtain Coca-Cola contracts for his company, and Gary Haines, the director of Tritec Systems Limited who eventually held a similar position with Electron Systems Ltd, also participated in the bribery scheme. According to CPS Special Prosecutor Alistair Dickson, CCE was wholly unaware of Corry’s corrupt scheme.

The CPS reports that Corry and Haines received a 20-month suspended sentence, and Kinsella received a 12-month suspended sentence for their roles in the scheme; however, they each were ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work.  In addition, WABGS, Tritec and Electron were fined £500,000 ($650,000), £70,000 ($91,000) and £70,000, respectively, for failing to prevent Bribery over a two-year period, with each business admitting that they failed to take adequate measures to prevent bribery at their companies.

CPS Press Release