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International business bribery investigation sees two men sentenced

  • Two men sentenced for bribery and transferring criminal property at the Inner London Crown Court
  • The City of London Police’s OACU was contacted in October 2008 about money laundering and bribery concerns
  • Between 2002 and 2007, £141,278 was paid in commission as a result of the duo’s crimes

Two men have been sentenced for bribery, transferring criminal property and money laundering at the Inner London Crown Court after they worked together to inflate equipment prices in return for commission payments.

On Wednesday 31 October 2018, Desmond Greenaway, 72, of Chapel Street, Brierley Hill, Dudley was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months for bribery and transferring criminal property.

On 23 April 2018, Leslie Oliver, 66 of Barrett Road, Southport, Merseyside was found guilty of making corrupt bribery payments to Desmond Greenaway, as well as money laundering and fraud by abuse of position. He was sentenced to 18 months for the bribery conviction, 18 months for the money laundering conviction, to be served concurrently, and 6 months for the fraud conviction, to be served consecutively. In total he was sentenced to 2 years but this sentence was suspended for 12 months.

The City of London Police’s Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit (OACU) was contacted by the employer of Leslie Oliver, a former sales manager, in October 2008 about concerns regarding money laundering and bribery in the company.

Between 2004 and 2008, prior to the company’s acquisition by its current owner, the company had made corrupt payments, under the instruction of Leslie Oliver, to Desmond Greenaway, a Saudi based UK national. He was an employee of a Saudi oil and gas company.

Greenaway and Oliver conspired to inflate the prices that the Saudi company paid to Oliver’s employer for equipment and services provided. As a result, the company made commission payments to Greenaway and he, in turn, made payments to Oliver. It is also believed that the company paid commission to Greenaway in respect of other business conducted in Saudi Arabia. In order to secure that business, Greenaway made facilitation payments to people within those Saudi companies.

In November 2007, Oliver’s employer was acquired by another company. This company would not tolerate the arrangements put in place by Oliver and terminated his employment. It is alleged that Oliver agreed to become an employee of a competing company whilst still an employee of his former company. He then facilitated the transfer of certain contracts from his former employer to his new employer.

Upon receipt of payment for the goods, the accounts department would be instructed by Oliver to make the commission payments to the bank account of Greenaway held in Jersey. As evidenced, a total of £141,278 was paid between 2002 and 2007, of which £34,540 was repaid to Oliver in return for his assistance in the crime.

Desmond Greenaway was not an employee or agent of Leslie Oliver’s company and there was no agency agreement in existence, therefore, the commission payments he received were illegal.

On Tuesday 3 February 2009, search warrants were carried out at the home addresses of Greenaway and Oliver. Oliver was arrested and interviewed on the same day. Greenaway refused to cooperate with the investigation and remained in Saudi Arabia. He was later arrested on 6th January 2018 and interviewed when he answered police bail on 11th January 2018.

Detective Sergeant Daniel Piper of the City of London Police’s Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit said: “Our investigation into Greenaway and Oliver has been extensive so today’s result is a reflection of the hard work by officers from the Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit and the authorities in Saudi Arabia.

“Law enforcement will investigate complex and international bribery and corruption offending and this case should serve as a warning to others who may be considering paying or accepting bribes.

“Bribery and corruption within a business can be extremely damaging to a company’s reputation so staff can find it difficult to bring their concerns to the police.

“We would encourage anyone with suspicions of bribery in their company to come forward. We will find anyone committing bribery and money laundering and bring them to trial.”

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