A company director was sentenced to 33 weeks’ imprisonment for failing to preserve company books and accounting records over a period of three years, for three separate companies. It is an offence to fail to keep accounting records under section 389 of the Companies Act 2006.
A former car rental company employee was convicted under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 of unlawfully obtaining, disclosing and selling personal data, in the form of customer records. The buyer of the records was also convicted under the same section. Both individuals were fined £1,000.
As a result of a Serious Fraud Office investigation into corrupt payments made in return for the award of contracts, a printing company was fined £1,316,799. The company also has to pay £881,158 confiscation as well as £25,000 prosecution costs. A total of £2,222,957.
The Information Commissioner’s Office fined a sole trader £5,000 after an unencrypted hard drive was stolen. The personal data of 250 clients was put at risk. Size is no excuse for poor data security. To read more on Data Protection enforcement please follow this link to the Information Commissioner’s website (which opens in a new window).
The Office of Fair Trading fined an estate agent nearly £12,000 for failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. Amongst other things they failed to establish or maintain appropriate compliance policies and procedures. The Office of Fair Trading has now been replaced by a number of regulators including the Competition and Markets Authority.
The Office of Fair Trading refused to renew the consumer credit licences of three businesses and stops a solicitor from carrying out licensable activities due to misleading and unfair practices. The Financial Conduct Authority now deals with credit licensing.
The Health and Safety Executive keeps a Public Register of prosecutions and notices. To search it please follow this link to the Health and Safety Executive’s website (which opens in a new window).
Infringements of legislation can result in financial penalties or in very serious cases imprisonment.
You may have to pay the prosecution’s costs, as well as your own legal expenses.
If you have benefited financially from the illegal activity you could be made to repay the money.
By far the biggest impact will be on the business reputation, trust will be damaged and may never be restored.
So, just how confident are you that your business:
- protects data?
- has procedures in place to make sure it complies with the law?
- follows the rules for its particular area of business?