Background^ back to top
Hot on the heels of the NatWest Three, Jeremy Crook was extradited to America in September 2006, on allegations of fraud stemming from the collapse of the software company Peregrine Systems, of which Crook was Vice President, EMEA.
The Case^ back to top
14 members of Peregrine, mostly from the US business, were indicted on various charges around the central allegation that the company had falsified its earnings for the year 2000. All strenuously denied the charges. Jeremy Crook at first decided to contest the extradition, but after the NatWest Three were extradited in July 2006, he agreed with the US prosecutors that he would waive his rights and travel voluntarily to San Diego to defend the case, hoping that in doing so he would be allowed to return to the UK, on bail, pending trial.
Extradition^ back to top
The UK Home Office, however, insisted that since the extradition proceedings had commenced, they should take their course, and refused to give Jeremy back his passport to enable him to travel voluntarily to the US. Once the magistrate had ordered his extradition, which he did not contest, Jeremy was extradited to America, accompanied by US Marshalls, and was placed on bond with electronic monitoring by the judge, although he was periodically allowed to travel home to Britain for short periods.
Plea Bargain^ back to top
After several lengthy delays in his case, and faced with the withdrawal of his key defence witness after she was threatened with indictment by the FBI, Jeremy eventually agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud in February 2009 (2.5 years after his extradition), and was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Although the plea bargain was struck with a view to an early return to the UK to finish his sentence, it was late 2010 before Jeremy was eventually repatriated.
He was sent to Ford open prison, and was just days away from being allowed home on electronic monitoring when the riot occurred at Ford in December 2010, and he, along with countless other blameless inmates, was shipped off to Belmarsh high security prison, where he spent the remainder of his sentence before his eventual release in March 2011.
- Is threatening a key defence witness with indictment if they testify considered appropriate conduct by prosecutors – should it be condoned by the British Courts by allowing extradition in incidences where this has occurred?
- Does the fact that 98% of US criminal trials result in plea bargains suggest that such deals are considered the most palatable option for extradited citizens?
Whyis it considered appropriate to extradite someone and hold them in the US for over 2 years before trial?