Bribery Act

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The former financial controller at Sustainable AgroEnergy (SAE) plc, a bio-fuel company which is alleged to have defrauded investors, is one of three people to face the first charges to be brought under new tougher anti-bribery legislation which was introduced two years ago report Harris & Co chartered accountants Northampton specialist small business accountants.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has brought the charges following an investigation into SAE over an alleged £23m biofuel scam whereby SAE sold investment products linked to forestry plantations in South East Asia. Hundreds of British investors were told that the plantations would produce biodiesel but were allegedly left out of pocket by the venture. The offences are said to have taken place between April 2011 and February 2012.

The SFO has been investigating the company since November 2011. Fung Fong Wong, the former financial controller of SAE, has been charged with conspiring to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to furnish false information, along with three others: Gary West, the former director and chief commercial officer; James Whale, the former CEO; and Stuart Stone, an independent financial adviser associated with the company.

In addition, Wong, West and Stone also face charges of making and accepting a financial advantage under the Bribery Act 2010. All four men will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court next month.

SAE is a subsidiary of Sustainable Growth Group (SGG) which was placed in administration in March 2012.

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