On Friday (7 January), Smith & Ouzman, an Eastbourne based security and financial printing company received a £2.2million fine at Southwark Crown Court for making corrupt payments to public officials to secure business contracts in Kenya and Mauritania.
In December 2014, Smith & Ouzman Ltd and two employees were convicted following a Serious Fraud Office investigation into corrupt payments made for the award of business contracts to the company.
The sales and marketing director of the firm, Nicholas Charles Smith, 43, of Cavendish Avenue, and his father Christopher John Smith, 71, the chairman of the company, both received jail sentences of 3 years and 18 months respectively.
The firm which employs 80 staff, said that yesterday’s hearing brought the case to a close.
“We have taken this matter very seriously and learnt many lessons during this difficult time. We have demonstrated our commitment, controls and ethos to new and existing customers and are grateful to all of them for continuing to trust in us.
“The company has a substantial financial penalty to pay. Although this is a significant amount of money, the company is resilient and, with the help of our dedicated employees, we will continue to deliver the highest level of secure, innovative products and services.” – Chairman Phil Ouzman
Smith & Ouzman is independently owned and has been established in Eastbourne since 1955, whilst its history in the printing industry dates back to 1845.