The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has recovered £2.25 million from Balfour Beatty, the UK construction group, following an investigation that allegedly showed inaccurate accounting at an Egyptian joint venture. The Times Online reports that Balfour Beatty reported the irregularities to the SFO and acknowledged that unlawful conduct took place in its subsidiary, which has since been disbanded.
The SFO reportedly recovered the money through a “Civil Recovery Order,” a new tool that allows it to seize property obtained by unlawful conduct without going through a criminal investigation. The SFO said it is the first time it has used a Civil Recovery Order against a big UK company. A Civil Recovery Order does not require any specific crime to have been committed by any company or individual, only that the SFO shows that the money it wants to recover is the proceeds of unlawful conduct according to the the Times Online.