05:14PM, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Nine lawyers and judges, three of whom are from Slough, Langley and Windsor, have been charged as part of an alleged plan to scam millions of pounds of public money from the legal aid system.
The charges have resulted from a Metropolitan Police’s investigation into a number of alleged fraudulent applications for the reimbursement of private legal costs from public funds.
The Met’s Complex Fraud Team began an investigation in December 2012 after Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service reported a number of alleged fraudulent applications for legal costs made to the National Taxation Team.
The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised charges in respect of four of the claims made between January 2011 and September 2013, which amounted to an excess of £12.6 million.
A total of £1.4 million of public funds was paid out and it is alleged the majority of this money was fraudulently obtained, the Met has said.
Shahid Rashid, a 57-year-old barrister from Cherry Avenue, Langley, was charged with three counts of fraud by false representation and one count of conspiracy to commit an offence of fraud by false representation.
Razi Shah, a 47-year-old solicitor and part-time civil judge from Edinburgh Gardens, Windsor was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit an offence of fraud by false representation.
Samira Bashir, a 46-year-old solicitor from Henry Road, Slough, was charged with one count of fraud of representation.
The other six, who are all legal professionals from London and Surrey, have been charged with fraud offences.
All nine defendants appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Tuesday) and have been sent for trial at Southwark Crown Court for Tuesday, August 14.
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