UK: Serious Fraud Office drops investigation into Rolls-Royce execs, GlaxoSmithKline
25 Feb 2019

The Serious Fraud Office has decided to scrap its Rolls-Royce and GlaxoSmithKline cases, citing issues around evidence and ‘public interest.’

The SFO was pursuing executives at Rolls-Royce after it clinched a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the firm over bribery and corruption allegations in a number of countries, including Russia, Nigeria and China.

Announcing the £497 million DPA in January 2019, the SFO said its investigation would continue into the conduct of individuals.

However on Friday, it said: “Following further investigation, a detailed review of the available evidence and an assessment of the public interest, there will be no prosecution of individuals associated with the company.”

It also said it would be dropping its GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) investigation, which focused on commercial practices by the company, its subsidiaries and associated persons.

“Again, following a detailed review of the available evidence and an assessment of the public interest there will be no prosecution in this case,” it said, adding that both cases were ‘wide ranging and complex investigations.’

SFO director Lisa Osofsky said: “After an extensive and careful examination I have concluded that there is either insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction or it is not in the public interest to bring a prosecution in these cases.”

Rolls-Royce declined to comment. GSK said it is pleased that the SFO have closed their investigation.

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