Mystery as new crime unit boss quits 'after failing security Aug 20, 2013 10:50:55 GMT
Post by Focus on Aug 20, 2013 10:50:55 GMT
A senior fraud investigator put in charge of fighting financial crime at a new FBI-style police agency will not take up the job after claims he failed the security vetting.
Jeremy Outen, a former partner at KPMG earning around £580,000 a year, was named as head of the National Crime Agency’s Economic Crime Command in April.
Jeremy Outen has resigned as the head of the National Crime Agency's Economic Crime Command after failing security checks
Due to the role’s highly sensitive nature, he was put through extensive vetting with experts trawling through his financial affairs, employment and personal life.
Last night well-placed sources confirmed that Mr Outen had failed the process. One said: ‘He failed the direct vetting procedure which was a requirement of the job.
‘Mr Outen was given the option of going through the process again, but he declined.’
Last night, the former forensic accountant told the Daily Mail he withdrew from the role for ‘personal reasons’ but declined to reveal details.
Yesterday one report claimed his tax affairs had played a part in the decision. However, Mr Outen strenuously denied the allegation.
His departure comes two weeks after the resignation of Sir Ian Andrews, chairman of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which will be rolled into the NCA when it launches this year.
Sir Ian quit after he failed to declare he owned a private company with his wife, who works for a global consultancy firm involved in security and investigations.
SOCA also faces damaging allegations that it failed to investigate City companies over the employment of corrupt private investigators.
Last night Mr Outen said: ‘The reason I’m leaving, or not joining, is entirely personal. It is personal to me and it is not something I really want to discuss.
‘I know that people want to know what it is but I am not going to tell anybody what it is and there we are.’
One report claimed Mr Outen quite over his tax affairs while the Home Office said he left for 'personal reasons'
When asked if it was because he failed the vetting, he said: ‘I can’t really talk about my vetting because the whole issue is surrounded by confidentiality which was imposed on me from the outset.
‘We are into difficult territory. What I am saying is I’ve withdrawn from the process and not the other way round, so you can work out from that that my vetting status isn’t the issue.’
Mr Outen added that he was ‘happy to deny categorically’ that his tax affairs were an issue.
‘I have not been involved in any tax avoidance, or any other such arrangements. I never have been,’ he said.
‘My tax affairs are very straightforward and I’m not aware that I am the subject of any investigation by the HMRC.’
When Mr Outen was appointed, Keith Bristow, director general of the NCA, said he was an ‘exceptional candidate’ who would be a major asset.
Home Secretary Theresa May added that Mr Outen had ‘the skills and experience to tackle the challenges posed by economic crime’.
Mr Outen's departure comes two weeks after the resignation of Sir Ian Andrews as chairman of SOCA (pictured)
Although he has never been a police officer, Mr Outen has worked closely with government departments and law enforcement agencies in investigating complex fraud cases at home and abroad.
A forensic accountant with KPMG for 21 years, his previous cases have included the collapses of Kuwait Investment Office’s investments in Spain and SBS-Agro in Moscow.
He has also investigated dormant Swiss bank accounts belonging to victims of Nazi persecution.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘Jeremy Outen has decided not to take up the post for personal reasons. Steps are being taken to ensure this position is filled.’
Oh ffs - can't they get anything right?? - Fx