Compass Group settles UN fraud lawsuits out of court

16 October 2006 by
Compass Group settles UN fraud lawsuits out of court

Compass Group has settled two lawsuits relating to procurement irregularities at the UN out of court.

In March this year, Monaco-based group ES-KO and Swiss-based caterer Supreme Foodservice brought lawsuits in New York against Compass Group totalling £600m.

They alleged Compass division ESS obtained food supply contracts in countries including Sudan, Lebanon and Syria through rigged bids and fraud.

A Compass spokesman said: "The terms of the settlement are confidential but the total legal, professional and related costs associated with the investigation, litigation and settlement are below £40m. No legal liability has been admitted."

Compass chief executive Richard Cousins said: "This settlement is a major step in putting the matter behind us. Moreover, I am determined to ensure that our reputation for the ethical treatment of clients, suppliers and competitors is underlined. I am now seeing through a programme of systems and control changes to ensure that all lessons are learned from this experience."

Former ESS boss Peter Harris was dismissed in November 2005 following an internal Compass Group investigation into the matter.

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By Tom Bill

E-mail your comments to Tom Bill]( Group settles UN fraud lawsuits out of court) here.

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