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London Court Clerk Sentenced to Six Years in Bribery Act Case

A London court clerk who admitted to asking for a bribe to help clear a suspect of a speeding ticket was sentenced to as much as six years in prison.

Munir Patel, who worked as an administrative clerk at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court in the Ilford neighborhood of London, was sentenced to six years in prison for misconduct in a public office and three years under the U.K. bribery act.

Judge Alistair McCreath in London said Patel’s misconduct lasted over a year and involved at least 53 cases in which traffic offenders were able to avoid fines, points on their license or disqualification.

“Your only motivation in doing this was financial reward and it was significant indeed -- at least 20,000 pounds,” McCreath said in a ruling today. “That is why I described these offenses as very serious. They caused great harm and involved high culpability on your part.”

Patel pleaded guilty last month to requesting and receiving a bribe under a new U.K. law, which took effect in July, and to misconduct in public office.

Under the bribery law, which is similar to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, companies must prove they have adequate controls to prevent corruption in order to defend themselves if a bribe is paid on their behalf anywhere in the world, even if company officials didn’t know.

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