Printers Smith & Ouzman have issued an ‘unreserved apology’ after two of its directors were sentenced to jail terms today (Thursday, February 12).
Nicholas Charles Smith, the company’s sales and marketing director, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, while his father Christopher John Smith, the company’s chairman, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment – to be suspended for two years – 250 hours of unpaid work and a three-month curfew.
Both men were disqualified from acting as company directors for six years.
A company spokesperson said, “The company fully accepts accountability for the actions of its directors and we apologise unreservedly.
“Christopher Smith and Nicholas Smith resigned as directors in December and are no longer part of the business. New directors will be appointed in due course.
“The company co-operated fully with the SFO throughout its lengthy investigation. The extent of our co-operation was acknowledged in court on a number of occasions and has not been disputed.
“During this period we have learned many lessons and as a result have developed industry leading, anti-bribery and corruption management processes.
“With the help of our dedicated and loyal staff we now wish to continue the task of delivering a quality product and outstanding service to our customers.”
The Serious Fraud Office, who prosecuted the bribery case against printers Smith & Ouzman, said it was the first conviction of its kind.
David Green CB QC, director of the SFO, said, “This case marks the first convictions secured against a corporate for foreign bribery, following a contested trial.
“The convictions recognise the corrosive impact of such conduct on growth and the integrity of business contracts in the Developing World.”