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Prosecuting Corruption

Bribery involves making illegal payments to people in positions of power in order to change their decisions.

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Misconduct in public office

Six found guilty of corruption in relation to Royal Household contracts

09/08/2016

Following two trials at Southwark Crown Court, Ronald Harper, former Deputy Property Manager within the Royal Household, has been found guilty of conspiracy to make corrupt payments.

Harper worked with an annual budget of £2.3m and was able to authorise orders worth up to £30,000. During this time Mr Harper received over £70,000 in covert payments from companies which were awarded lucrative and prestigious contracts for mechanical and electrical work in Buckingham Palace, the Queen's Gallery, St James' Palace and Kensington Palace, and in connection with the awarding of a Royal Warrant.

Christopher Murphy and Aseai Zlaoui have been found guilty of conspiracy to make corrupt payments. Steven Thompson and Glynn Orridge pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud.

Luke Bulpitt, Specialist Prosecutor in CPS Special Crime Division, said: "Ronald Harper abused his position of trust for his own personal gain and to the detriment of the interests of the Royal Household, while Thompson, Murphy, and Zlaoui all sought to profit from their corrupt relationships.

"This was a complicated prosecution but these convictions demonstrate the commitment of the CPS to hold to account those who seek to gain through corrupt practices. The meticulous and extensive investigation undertaken by Leicestershire Police meant that the full extent of the defendants' corruption was exposed."

Harper was found guilty of conspiring to receive those corrupt payments from the former owners of Melton Power Services (MPS) and BSI Nordale. During the two trials at Southwark Crown Court, the court heard that the payments were made to maintain good relations with Harper and obtain or retain the valuable contracts the companies had with the Royal Household. Evidence put before the court showed that the tender processes and payment systems were manipulated and that a Royal Warrant was granted to MPS on the recommendation of Mr Harper.

Steven Thompson, the former owner of MPS, pleaded guilty to his role in the making of corrupt payments to Harper. He and Glynn Orridge - a subcontractor to MPS - have also pleaded guilty to defrauding MPS.

Christopher Murphy, who had worked closely conviction of six men in relation to with Harper in a similar role at Harrod's, and Aseai Zlaoui were found guilty of conspiring with Harper to make corrupt payments at the time their company BSI Nordale was awarded large contracts to work at Buckingham Palace and St James's Palace.

The payments by BSI Nordale to Harper were made using his brother-in-law Alan Rollinson to disguise them. Mr Rollinson has been convicted of money laundering.

Harper received £55,000 in covert payments from MPS and £20,000 from BSI Nordale. In addition unexplained cash deposits into Mr Harper's bank account in the region of £30,000 were also uncovered.

Notes

1st Trial June 2016:

  • Ronald Harper convicted of 1 count of conspiracy to make corrupt payments

Trial 2 August 2016:

  • Ronald Harper convicted of 1 count of conspiracy to make corrupt payments
  • Aseai Zlaoui convicted of 1 count of conspiracy to make corrupt payments
  • Christopher Murphy convicted of 1 count of conspiracy to make corrupt payments
  • Alan Rollinson convicted of 1 count of converting or transferring stolen property.

Guilty pleas:

  • Steven Thompson pleaded guilty to 1 count of conspiracy to make corrupt payments and 1 count of conspiracy to commit fraud.
  • Glynn Orridge pleaded guilty to 1 count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Ends

Notes to Editors

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