A security company known as G4S assumed responsibility for three counts of fraud that were conducted in order to boost its profits.
These acts of fraud were conducted in an attempt to “dishonestly mislead” the government, to maximise the profits of the company.
As part of an agreement to ensure that G4S avoids prosecution for overcharging the Ministry of Justice for electronic tagging of offenders, some of whom had died, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has fined the company £44 million.
After a departmental review discovered that they had been overcharged for tracking movements of people who had moved abroad, returned to prison or died, in 2013, SFO was requested by the former justice minister Chris Grayling to investigate G4S and its rival Serco.
In 2014, G4S reached an agreement to recompense the Ministry of Justice a total amount of £121 million. On Friday the SFO announced a deferred prosecution agreement, awaiting approval by a judge at a hearing scheduled for the next Friday.
Ashley Almanza, the G4S chief executive said: “The behaviour which resulted in the offences committed in 2011 and 2012 is completely counter to the group’s values and standards and is not tolerated within G4S.”
“We have apologised to the UK government and implemented significant changes to people, policies, practices and controls, designed to ensure that our culture is underpinned by high ethical standards and that our business is always conducted in a manner which is consistent with our values.
“We have made significant progress in embedding these standards throughout the group and we are pleased that this has been acknowledged by the SFO and the UK government.”
The company will have to pay a penalty of £38.5 million and £5.9 million to cover the SFO`s costs, under the terms of the agreement.
The director of SFO, Lisa Osofsky said: “G4S Care & Justice repeatedly lied to the Ministry of Justice, profiting to the tune of millions of pounds and failing to provide the openness, transparency, and overall good corporate citizenship that UK taxpayers expect and deserve from companies entering into government contracts.”