Today, the SFO offered no evidence against James Jardine, Mark Preston and Richard Morris, bringing to an end an investigation which has lasted nearly a decade with the acquittal of all individuals charged.
The defendants, former directors and employees of G4S, were charged with a multi-million pound fraud against the Ministry of Justice arising from a contract for the electronic monitoring (“tagging”) of suspects and offenders. The defendants maintained that the SFO had simply misunderstood the highly complex financial documents which were the subject of the case, and that all of their dealings with the Ministry of Justice had been entirely honest and above board.
The case, which concerned conduct that began over twenty years ago, was first before the Court in September 2020, following a DPA concluded between the SFO and G4S. The case was originally listed for trial in January 2022, but following repeated applications by the SFO to adjourn the trial due to failures to discharge its disclosure obligations under sustained pressure from the defence, the prosecution today recognised that the case should no longer be allowed to continue.