Bosses could face jail for failing to prevent corruption and fraud

Posted On: 
12th September 2016

Company boards could face prosecution for failing to prevent their staff committing fraud under plans being reviewed by ministers.

Theresa May has pledged to curb "boardroom excesses".
PA Images

The Times reports that ministers are putting together legislation that would make bosses criminally liable for some offences perpetrated by employees.

The plans are part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to curb “boardroom excess”.

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A new criminal finance bill will extend the law to make employers responsible for preventing money-laundering, false accounting and fraud.

Currently, firms are liable to for a failure to stop bribery.

A government source told The Times: “This is the main thrust of the bill and it is in line with our priorities to improve corporate governance more generally.”

The news comes after Attorney General Jeremy Wright suggested the Government would consult on extending the planned law on tax evasion, outlined by David Cameron earlier this year.

He is reported to have said last week: “When considering the question 'where does the buck stop?' and who is responsible for economic crime, it is clear the answer is to be found at every level, from the boardroom down."

He argued companies facing prosecution for failing to prevent crimes would be more likely to "take the actions necessary to discourage such offending in the first place".