Under the Bribery Act 2010, it is an offence to bribe someone, receive a bribe or to bribe a foreign official.
The Act sets out a number of situations where Bribery will have occurred, but the basic definition requires an exchange of some advantage and the improper performance of some function with some sort of causal link. Typical examples include:
- Paying someone to speed up an application;
- Offering money to secure business;
- Accepting a gift in return for a favourable decision.
Sentencing can vary for these offences depending on the circumstances of the offence, however the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and/or a fine.
Additionally, it is now an offence under s.7 of the Act to fail as a commercial organisation to prevent bribery, whether it occurred within the UK or anywhere else in the world. Cases of this type must be brought in the name of the partnership and a sentence will be a fine to be paid out of the partnership assets.
If you are accused of Bribery and Corruption, you should seek legal advice immediately.
It is vital that you receive the best advice possible and provide as much detail of the facts of your case as you can to ensure the right result for you.
MK Law is on hand to help you through all stages of the process.