Monday 23 September 2013 8:56 pm

First UK Bribery Act defendants appear in court

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THE FIRST defendants to be charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) under the UK Bribery Act since it was introduced in 2011 appeared before Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had charged the four men connected to Sustainable AgroEnergy with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to furnish false information, in relation to the sale of biofuel investment products to UK investors between April 2011 and February 2012. James Brunel Whale, 38, the former chief executive of the company, and Gary Lloyd West, 52, its former director and chief commercial officer, will return to court on 7 October for the hearing, along with Stuart John Stone, 28, an independent financial adviser with links to Sustainable AgroEnergy and Fung Fong Wong, its former financial controller.

West, Stone and Wong were also charged with “offences of making and accepting a financial advantage” contrary to the Bribery Act.

Sustainable AgroEnergy is a subsidiary of Sustainable Growth Group, which was placed into administration in March last year.