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Fraudsters sentenced for million-pound bribery and corruption at Coca-Cola Enterprises UK Ltd

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A group of individuals and corporate bodies have been sentenced today (14 April 2022) for their involvement in bribing a senior manager at Coca Cola Enterprises UK Limited.

Noel Corry, 56, and Gary Haines, 60, were each given a 20 month suspended sentence. Peter Kinsella, 58, was given a 12 month suspended sentence. All three have been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. The companies involved have all been fined for failing to prevent bribery. WABGS Limited (previously Boulting Group Limited) received a fine of £500,000, Tritec Systems Limited of £70,000 and Electron Systems Limited of £70,000.

Noel Corry had worked for Coca Cola Enterprises UK Limited (CCE) in the Electrical and Automation division since October 1996, as a senior manager. He had responsibility for subcontracting site service work at CCE premises to a number of companies. If work was required over multiple sites, Corry not only influenced the selection process but would personally lead the identification of the appropriate contractors.

These included Boulting Group Limited (now trading as WABGS), Tritec Systems Limited and Electron Systems Limited. Some were “fresh air” contracts for which no actual work was required to be performed. In return, Corry accepted cash bribes, free tickets to sports and entertainment events and sponsorship of his local football club, Droylesden FC, to an overall value of £950,000.

Peter Kinsella was a Regional Manager at Boulting Group Limited (now WABGS Limited). Corry developed a close working relationship with Kinsella and awarded contracts from CCE to Boulting often when little or no work was actually needed. Corry also supplied them with confidential competitive tender information about rival bids for electrical work at CCE Ltd sites, giving Boulting a commercial advantage over competitors.

Between 2008 and 2013 Noel Corry made almost £350,000 from his corrupt relationship with Peter Kinsella and in their guilty plea the Boulting Group have accepted failing to prevent Bribery over a two-year period.

Gary Haines was a Director of Tritec Systems Limited from at least June 2011 and held a similar position at Electron Systems Ltd from April 2013. Corry authorised payments for contracts between CCE Ltd, Tritec and Electron for which in fact no work was carried out at all. Through this arrangement, Haines hoped to generate further legitimate work with Coca- Cola and he paid bribes to Corry of just over £600,000.

Boulting Group, Tritec Systems Ltd and Electron Systems Ltd had a responsibility to ensure all reasonable measures were taken to prevent bribery. Each business admitted that they had failed to put in place adequate measures to prevent it. The Directors of the businesses were aware that such a failure was a criminal offence.

Alistair Dickson, Specialist Prosecutor, of the CPS said: “Corry had established a corrupt culture in the procurement exercise, awarding contracts to those companies whose senior managers were prepared to bribe him for doing so.

"Coca Cola Enterprises were wholly unaware of Corry’s corrupt actions to enrich himself.

"The contracting companies should have had had in place compliance measures which would have prevented the payments being made and led to the corruption being exposed.”

Detective Superintendent John Roch, Head of Economic Crime at the Metropolitan Police said: “Corry, Haines and Kinsella worked hard to present themselves as reputable, reliable and genuine businessmen but in fact they were the exact opposite.

“Corry’s role was one of power; he was the subject matter lead within Coca Cola Enterprises UK and although he did not make the final decision on competitive tenders, his opinion carried considerable influence with both the project managers and procurement team.

“This is the first time the Met has charged and convicted a company with failure to prevent bribery and sends a strong message to individuals out there who seek to create an advantage for their business.

“The Met’s Economic Crime Command investigates serious and complex financial crime, fraud and money laundering. The detectives who worked on this case have distinct areas of expertise and it is with thanks to their hard work and dedication we have achieved today’s result.”

The CPS is committed to continuing to work closely with law enforcement and investigatory authorities to bring individuals and companies engaging in corrupt and bribery practices to justice.

Notes to editors

  • Noel Corry was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment suspended for 21 months, 200 hours of unpaid work and costs of £5,000.
  • Peter Kinsella was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 21 months, 200 hours of unpaid work and costs of £5,000.
  • Gary Haines (DOB: xxxx) was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment suspended for 21 months, 200 hours of unpaid work and costs of £5,000.
  • WABGS Limited is sentenced to pay a fine of £500,000 and costs of £10,000.
  • Tritec Systems Limited is sentenced to pay a fine of £70,000 and costs of £10,000.
  • Electron Systems Limited is sentenced to pay a fine of £70,000 and costs of £10,000.
  • Alistair Dickson is a Specialist Prosecutor with the CPS Serious Economic, Organised Crime and International Directorate (SEOCID).
     

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