UK

Two ex-Serco bosses charged with fraud over alleged tagging scandal

Electronic tag (stock image) Image copyright Getty Images

Two former executives at the private security company Serco have been charged over an alleged scandal involving the electronic tagging of criminals.

Nicholas Woods and Simon Marshall have been charged with fraud by false representation and false accounting.

Earlier this year, Serco was fined £19.2m over its electronic tagging service for the Ministry of Justice.

Serco lost its contract to tag criminals in the UK in late 2013.

Mr Woods is the former finance director of Serco Home Affairs while Mr Marshall is a former operations director of field services within Serco.

The Serious Fraud Office said both men had been "charged with fraud by false representation and false accounting in relation to representations made to the Ministry of Justice between 2011 and 2013".

In July, Serco was fined £19.2m after claims it had charged the government for electronically monitoring people who were either dead, in jail, or had left the country.

Mr Woods is also charged with false accounting in relation to the 2011 statutory accounts of Serco Geografix Ltd, the SFO said.

The SFO statement added: "This follows the SFO's completion of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Serco Group subsidiary Serco Geografix Ltd, which was approved by Mr Justice William Davis on 4th July 2019.

"The investigation remains active and we are unable to comment further at this time."

Mr Woods and Mr Marshall were charged by postal requisition and will appear in court on a date to be fixed.

Solicitor Andrew Katzen who is representing Mr Woods, said his client was "very disappointed that the SFO has decided to charge him with criminal offences dating back to his work at Serco about 10 years ago.

"The SFO has spent six years investigating this matter and Mr Woods fully co-operated throughout.

"He denies the allegations and looks forward to the opportunity of clearing his name."