Fraud Office Raids Liberty Steel Offices Amid Criminal Investigation Business

The Serious Fraud Office has raided the offices of Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty Steel as it launches an investigation into the tycoon’s empire.

On Wednesday, SFO investigators visited sites linked to Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance across England, Scotland and Wales, demanding documents such as balance sheets, annual reports and other correspondence .

The raids represent an escalation of the SFO’s criminal investigation into Mr Gupta’s metals empire, which it launched last May.

It comes just days after French police raided GFG’s Paris offices as part of a separate investigation into the tycoon’s business dealings.

The SFO investigation is looking into suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering, including Greensill Capital UK funding deals.

The agency has issued so-called Section 2 notices, which are used to coerce information and documents from witnesses and potential suspects.

It is understood that some of the sites targeted by SFO officials included Stocksbridge, Hartlepool and Scunthorpe in England and Newport in Wales.

GFG declined to comment.

However, in an internal memo to employees seen by The Telegraph, staff were told the company had consistently rejected any wrongdoing and pledged to cooperate fully.

He said: “We appreciate that these investigations may be disruptive and of concern to employees and stakeholders. However, we are encouraged that the investigation is now progressing and nearing a conclusion.

“We will be reaching out to key stakeholders to brief and update them, to ensure they are aware and reassured that we are cooperating fully and that we already have best practices in place to deal with such requests for information. “

An SFO spokesperson said: ‘Teams attended business addresses earlier this morning issuing Section 2 notices to request documents including company balance sheets, annual reports and related correspondence to the SFO investigation.

“Investigators have spoken to executives at multiple addresses, who have been cooperating with the operation. As the investigation is ongoing, the SFO can make no further comment.

Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance, the umbrella organization of Liberty Steel and Specialty Steel UK, has been plagued by scandals since its main lender Greensill Capital collapsed last year.

The implosion of Greensill in March, which was Liberty’s main source of funding to which Mr Gupta’s businesses owe billions of pounds, added to the problems as the company sought cash to keep operating.

It has restructured its UK steel business in recent months and put in new management. It has major operations in Rotherham and Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-28 05:00:00

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