Crime & the Law

7 year long multi-million pound energy corruption case comes to an end

Southwark Crown Court. Image: Google Street view.

Southwark Crown Court. Image: Google Street view.

A 7 year long joint investigation by the SFO and City of London Police into the awarding of contracts in a series of high-value infrastructure projects, came to an end this week at Southwark Crown Court.

57 year old Graham Marchment pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment for his role in the conspiracy.

Marchment worked as a procurement engineer and deliberately leaked confidential information to bidders in exchange for payments disguised as commission.

The British national is originally from West Sussex, but has been resident in the Philippines in recent years where the SFO informed him that he was wanted for questioning in the UK.

Marchment refused to return to the UK and so did not stand trial with his co-defendants.

When his passport expired and he was unable to renew it because of the outstanding arrest warrant, he was forced to returned to the UK in December 2014.

He was arrested, charged and denied bail.

He pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to three counts of conspiracy to corrupt.

He was sentenced to 2.5 year’s imprisonment on each count, to be served concurrently.

City of London Police Detective Constable Martina McGrillen said:

Marchment’s imprisonment is a tribute to both the Serious Fraud Office and the City of London Police’s determination to see justice served in full for all those involved in this case of international corruption. It also sends out a clear message that if you break UK laws you should expect to face the consequences in a British court. Hiding away overseas is not the answer; it is just delaying the inevitable.

His guilty plea comes two years after the conviction of four co-conspirators as part of the same case in January 2012.

Between 2004 and 2008, Marchment conspired with his co-defendants, Andrew Rybak, Ronald Saunders, Philip Hammond and others to obtain payments by supplying confidential information in relation to oil and gas engineering projects in Egypt, Russia and Singapore.

The court heard Marchment deliberately leaked confidential information to bidders in exchange for payments  worth around £40 million.

Judge HHJ Taylor said in sentencing:

You [Marchment] with your experience knew that the information you were passing was confidential and would be useful to rival bidders… You were in a position of trust … [yet] were motivated by greed

Joint Head of Bribery at the SFO, Matthew Wagstaff said:

This result brings to a close a seven-year SFO-led investigation that covered numerous foreign jurisdictions. Collaboration with national and international agencies enabled the SFO to secure Marchment’s conviction, despite his attempts to evade justice for this greedy and parasitic crime. Special thanks go to City of London Police, who referred the case to the SFO and with whom we worked closely throughout the investigation.

Compensation and confiscation will be determined at a later date. ​​​

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