The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has had its application to amend
its indictment of Goldshield Group and two of its former
directors refused by a trial judge. The judge also refused the
SFO’s application for permission to appeal.
The case dates back to April 2006, when the SFO issued criminal
proceedings against nine individuals, including Goldshield
directors Ajit Patel and Kirti Patel, and five companies,
alleging conspiracy to defraud the National Health Service in
relation to the pricing and supply of several medications between
January 1996 and December 2000. In addition to selling
pharmaceuticals to the NHS, Goldshield sells healthcare products
to consumers via its Vitamins Direct catalogue and website.
In an interview, he gave to online financial broadcaster Cantos,
Goldshield chief executive Rakesh Patel explained that the
judge’s decision follows the House of Lords ruling in March 2008
that cartel activity, of which Goldshield was accused, was not a
crime between 1996 and 1999. In a statement, the SFO said it was
seeking leave to appeal.