FCA: iSoft directors will not face second retrial

The Financial Conduct Authority is not going to pursue a second retrial in the case against four former directors of healthcare software business iSoft Group plc for conspiracy to make misleading statements.

In January 2010, the Financial Services Authority launched a criminal proceedings against Patrick Cryne, Stephen Graham, Timothy Whiston and John Whelan.

iSoft is one of the world’s largest providers of healthcare IT solutions. The firm says that it designs, builds and delivers software systems that serve the entire health sector.

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The regulator alleged misleading statements were made contrary to section 397 (1)(a) and (2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Last year the directors were discharged by the Judge after the jury were unable to reach a verdict, following a legal argument about an exhibit handling issue that arose late in the trial.

The Judge ruled that the issue did not, in itself, prevent the case proceeding to the jury. However, procedural issues involving the cross examination of counsel for the prosecution meant it was not possible to resolve the matter in this trial, the FCA said in a statement.

The FCA said that it would therefore “not be in the public interest for a second retrial to be pursued”.

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime said: “This is of course a disappointing outcome. The problems that have arisen in this case result from a particularly unusual set of circumstances, which are unlikely to recur.

“As with all our cases, win or lose, we will look to see what lessons can be learned for the future. In the meantime, we continue to focus our energy on the strong pipeline of cases we have under investigation.”

Martin Wheatley, FCA chief executive, added: “This decision not to seek a second retrial does not undermine our determination to bring and prosecute difficult cases. The FCA will continue to use our enforcement powers as one of the ways that we bring about a change in the culture of firms that operate in the UK markets.

“We have to make sure markets work well, and that firms operating within them put the interests of their customers’ and investors – and not self-interest – first.”