To ask the Attorney General, what recent discussions she has had with the Serious Fraud Office on victims of fraud; and what steps she is taking to help ensure that victims of fraud are compensated accordingly.
29 March 2022
I meet regularly with the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to discuss casework and corporate matters, including issues connected to victims of crime and compensation.
The SFO always aims to trace and seize money and other assets from criminals in all of its fraud, bribery and corruption cases, so that criminals do not benefit from their offending and victims can be compensated wherever possible.
The SFO continues to perform well in this regard and its proceeds of crime recovery rate was higher than all comparable UK agencies in three of the last four years. Last year, the SFO recovered the fourth highest amount in value out of 180 agencies across England and Wales, after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Metropolitan Police and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), all of which are much larger organisations. Its success in recovering the proceeds of crime and the work of its Witness Care Team in supporting victims – sometimes totalling thousands in a single case – and witnesses were also positively recognised in two HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) inspection reports published in the past year.
Internationally, the SFO recently obtained £210,610 in compensation as a result of its investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited. The funds will be transferred by the UK Government to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and will support key infrastructure projects, ensuring that the people of Nigeria benefit directly.