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20-12-2019 13:52 | Read 3266 times

Former Serco directors charged with fraud

TWO former directors of a British stock exchange listed company that provided electronic monitoring services to the UK’s Ministry of Justice – including for Turkish Cypriot businessman Asil Nadir during the 2010 Polly Peck case – have been charged with fraud.

Former Serco directors charged with fraud

By KEREM HASAN

Chief Reporter

Nicholas Woods and Simon Marshall, both former executives of security firm Serco, were charged on Monday over an alleged scandal involving electronic tagging.

Mr Woods is the former finance director of Serco Home Affairs while Mr Marshall is a former operations director of field services within Serco.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said both men had been “charged with fraud by false representation and false accounting in relation to representations made to the [British] Ministry of Justice between 2011 and 2013”.

In July, Serco was fined £19.2m after claims it had charged the government for electronically monitoring people who were either dead, in jail, or had left the country.

Mr Woods is also charged with false accounting in relation to the 2011 statutory accounts of Serco Geografix Ltd, the SFO said.

Mr Woods’ solicitor, Andrew Katzen, said his client “denies the allegations and looks forward to the opportunity of clearing his name”. Mr Marshall declined to comment.

On December 4, 2010, Mr Nadir was arrested after Serco – headed at the time by the two executives – made claims that he was not at home during his midnight to 6am curfew, during his trial at the Old Bailey.

William Clegg, QC, who represented Mr Nadir, had produced to the Old Bailey CCTV footage that proved he was at home despite the false claims made by Serco, which were initially accepted by the police.

The actions were blamed for having an adverse effect on Mr Nadir’s case, fuelling negative media coverage after Serco claimed he was “touring London Bridge” after midnight in breach of his curfew.

Mr Nadir, who at the time described the incident as “very distressing and upsetting”, was released after the tag was checked.

“I was resting at home on Saturday afternoon when the police arrived with two squad cars and a van,” Mr Nadir was quoted as telling The Times in 2010. “I was bundled into a cage in the back of the van like a stray dog.”

More details from the investigation into Serco, which the SFO said on Monday “remains active”, are expected to emerge.

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