Eight lawyers and a legal clerk in London and surrounding counties have been charged in relation to an allegedly fraudulent legal aid claims of over £12.6m. A Metropolitan Police statement says the charges follow a complex fraud team investigation, which began in December 2012 after HM Courts & Tribunals Service reported allegedly fraudulent applications for legal costs made to the National Taxation Team. The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised charges in respect of four claims made between January 2011 and September 2013. The Metropolitan Police said that, in these cases, claims in excess of £12.6m were made. In total, £1.4m of public funds was paid out and it is alleged that the majority of this money was fraudulently obtained.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that nine people have been charged by postal requisition. Solicitor and part-time immigration judge Kareena Maciel, barrister and part-time immigration judge Rasib Ghaffar, solicitor and part-time civil judge Razi Shah, and solicitor Joseph Ameyaw-Kyeremeh have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit an offence of fraud by false representation. Solicitor Azhar Khan has been charged with one count of fraud by false representation and one count of conspiracy to commit an offence of fraud by false representation, while solicitor Lloyd Moody, 48 has been charged with two counts of fraud by false representation. Solicitor Samira Bashir has been charged with one count of fraud by false representation. Legal clerk Gazi Khan and barrister Shahid Rashid have been charged with three counts of fraud by false representation and one count of conspiracy to commit an offence of fraud by false representation. The nine individuals will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on 17 July.