2m for lying about water leaks Severn Trent fined Birmingham based Severn Trent Water has been fined 2 million at the Old Bailey for lying about water leaks.
23:31, 1 JUL 2008Updated01:01, 31 MAY 2013Britain's second biggest water company, with eight million consumers, had faced an unlimited fine. The Serious Fraud Office, which prosecuted the case, had reportedly hoped for a fine in the region of million in line with the level of fines levied by water regulator Ofwat. Judge Jeremy Roberts was asked to make an example of the utility provider to deter others. But he had to comply with criminal court precedents for fines, particularly comparing them to health and safety offences which involved loss of life. Last year, such fines included for the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by the Metropolitan Police and million against Network Rail following the Paddington train crash in which 31 people were killed. Severn Trent Water, which covers an area from the Bristol Channel to the East Midlands, was the first company prosecuted for making false statements about its leaks. The firm agreed to pay the costs of the Serious Fraud Office in bringing the case. It pleaded guilty to two offences under the coach outlet coupons 03885 Water Industry Act of making false returns to Ofwat concerning 2001 and 2002. The lying came to light from emails and board meeting minutes. The court was told the coach outlet factory online store company reported an estimated yearly water loss of 340 million litres per day to meet targets, while the true figure was around 514 million litres. This was to stave off having to carry out millions of pounds worth of repairs until they could be covered by future water bills, and to avoid bad publicity. Severn Trent, which is planning to move to new purpose built premises in Coventry, had an operating profit of between million and million at the time and shareholders benefited from the lies. Severn Trent was fined a record million by Ofwat this year for separate offences involving deliberately providing false information and poor customer service. Although companies can still be prosecuted in the courts, Ofwat now has powers it did not have during the water leak scandal. Judge Roberts said: "This is where the real deterrents lie, I suspect. I think coach outlet handbags under $10 I have to approach this on the basis of traditional criminal procedures." Edmund Wilson QC, defending, said three directors who denied criminal behaviour, and other senior staff, had left the company. He promised that consumers would not be saddled with higher bills to pay for the fine and court costs. Mr Wilson said: "Current shareholders will bear the coach outlet sale codes brunt of the punishment. There will be no contributions coming from any third party." Sentencing the company, Judge Roberts said: "I consider this to be a serious case. The sorry saga of this case reveals a lack of honesty and transparency in dealing with the regulator. "Persons at a senior level, namely members of the board, were involved over an extremely long period of time in the deliberate concealment of the true position as shown by the information in the company's own possession." He said it was impossible to say what, if any, financial advantage had been gained by the company or what the true leakage was.
After the case, Severn Trent chief executive Tony Wray said: "We deeply regret the mistakes of the previous regime. "On behalf of our customers and staff we deplore the breach of the essential trust between Severn Trent and all our stakeholders. We are already repairing that trust with the root and branch reorganisation of Severn Trent undertaken since 2005.
Prev: coach outlet usa
Next: coach outlet locations z gallerie