Fraud, bribery and money laundering offences draft guideline

Closed 4 Oct 2013

Opened 27 Jun 2013


The Sentencing Council is updating guidance for courts so that all fraud offences are covered by a consistent set of guidelines that will also deal with corporate offenders.

The Council is seeking the views of as many people as possible interested in the sentencing of fraud, bribery and money laundering offences, particularly in respect of:

  • the principal factors that make any of the offences included within the draft guideline more or less serious;
  • the additional factors that should influence the sentence;
  • the approach taken to structuring the draft guidelines;
  • the sentences that should be passed for fraud, bribery and money laundering offences for both individuals and corporations; and
  • anything else that you think should be considered.

The Council is not consulting on the legislation; this is a matter for Parliament and outside the scope of this exercise.

Which offences are covered by this guideline?

The predecessor body to the Sentencing Council, the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) published definitive guidelines for fraud offences in October 2009. These guidelines were grouped by type of fraud:

  • confidence fraud;
  • possessing, making or supplying articles for use in frauds;
  • banking and insurance fraud, and obtaining credit through fraud;   benefit fraud; and
  • revenue fraud.

The draft guidelines are grouped in broadly the same way with the exception of confidence fraud and banking and insurance fraud which have been merged.

For the first time, guidelines are proposed for bribery and money laundering and, within the revenue guideline, the common law offence of cheating the revenue. Also for the first time each of the guidelines applies to sentencing offenders convicted of conspiracy to commit the substantive offence.


  • Businesses
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Local authorities
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary
  • Police
  • Prosecutors


  • Criminal justice