High profile departures continue at SFO

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has lost yet another high profile prosecutor as confidence in the agency and its dwindling resources continues to decline.

Bloomberg reports that Glyn Powell, the former Head of Fraud at the agency, has left his post to pursue a career with City law firm Jones Day. Powell was seen as an important and experienced member of the SFO, responsible for cases brought against Bernard Madoff and Asil Nadir for activities including corporate fraud.

This is just the latest in a long list of recent departures, including chief investigator Keith McCarthy, head of anti-corruption Robert Amaee and former head of fraud Kathleen Harris. All have left to pursue careers in the private sector with various law and accountancy firms.

A swell in the number of departures, as well as an ever-decreasing budget, has been blamed for the collapse of several high value corporate fraud cases in the last two years and a reorganisation of the agency’s management board.

Incoming director David Green will be looking to put the last 12 months firmly behind the agency, as it attempts to deal with Parliamentary inquiries into past deals, including a much-derided settlement with BAE Systems. Stemming the flow of high profile departures will be on the top of his list, as well as attempting to replace the talent that has already been lost to the private sector.

It remains to be seen whether Mr. Powell’s departure will be the last of the New Year or how it will effect ongoing investigations.

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