CEO Of Coca-Cola Enterprises Admits To Accepting £1.5 Million In Bribery

A former Coca-Cola Enterprises executive has admitted to accepting more than £1.5 million in bribes in exchange for assisting favoured companies in winning lucrative contracts.

From 2004 until 2013, Noel Corry, 56, gave confidential and sensitive data to Boulting Group, Tritec Systems, and Electron Systems.

It provided them a leg up on competitors in contract bidding.

Corry, of Lymm, Cheshire, received a suspended sentence of 20 months, while the companies involved were fined.

Gary Haines, 60, of Market Drayton, Shropshire, a former director of Tritec Systems, was also handed a 20-month suspended sentence, while Peter Kinsella, 58, of Manchester, a former contract manager at Boulting, was given a 12-month suspended term at Southwark Crown Court.

All three were sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid labour.

For failing to prevent bribery, the Boulting Group – now known as WABGS Ltd – was fined £500,000, while the other two businesses were fined £70,000.

When his nine-year scam was discovered, Corry, a senior engineering manager in charge of identifying electrical services contractors for bottling plants in the UK, was forced to sell his family home and hand over his pension pot to repay Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd £1.7 million, according to the court.

Prosecutors allege that Corry was paid for “bogus” Coca-Cola Enterprises contracts for work that was never completed, or that he made the company pay more than the true cost of the work and was paid the difference.

By the time he was identified and fired, Corry had collected at least £950,000 from Boulting, which was alleged to have benefited by £13 million, and had paid more than £600,000 in bribes to Tritec Systems and Electron Systems.

The payments to Corry were allegedly paid through a shell firm he controlled through family members, Trojan Ltd, Alpha Windows – owned by his brother-in-law – or Axial Partnership Ltd, where he was a partner, according to the court.

Corry also earned hundreds of thousands of pounds in sponsorship and other payments from Droylsden FC, where he served as president.

He also arranged lavish entertainment events through Sports Management UK Ltd, a corporate events company, including a payment of more than £11,000 for Manchester United season tickets paid for by companies he favoured.

Corry confessed to five counts of corruption, Haines to two, and Kinsella to three acts of corruption and three counts of bribery conspiracy.

WABGS acknowledged that it had failed to prevent bribery. Corruption and failure to prevent bribes were charged against Tritec Systems and Electron Systems.

Corry built a “corrupt procurement culture,” according to Alistair Dickson of the CPS, providing contracts to companies whose top managers were willing to bribe him.

“The contracting businesses should have had in place compliance controls that would have prevented the payments,” he claimed, adding that Coca-Cola Enterprises was “wholly oblivious” of Corry’s misconduct.

“Corry, Haines, and Kinsella worked hard to market themselves as reputable, reliable, and legitimate businessmen,” said Det Supt John Roch of the Metropolitan Police.

He added: “This is the first time the Met has charged and convicted a company with failure to prevent bribery.”

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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