On 14th March 2013 two Crown Prosecution Service employees, Lisa Burrows (41) and Tahir Mahmood (50) pleaded guilty to fraud offences (we don’t have the actual indictment).
It seems that the two CPS employees set up false invoices to claim for non-existent taxi rides (with a non-existent taxi firm) for witnesses to Court. They managed to get in over £1 million over a five year period.
We will cover this in more detail when they are sentenced (in July – the delay being because there are financial inquiries still on-going trying to trace the money) and more details are available. But, what sort of a sentence can they expect?
The Fraud Guidelines will apply. The most suitable category is ‘Banking and Insurance Fraud’ (page 24). It is professionally planned and over a long period of time, and, given the amount of money, it is in the top category.
The starting point (based on £750,000) is 5 years, with a range of 4-7 years. This is after a trial and both will get full credit for pleading guilty. As a guess, the Judge will take a starting point of about 6 years and, with full credit, both will be looking at about 4 years imprisonment each. It may be that when the full facts are known it may be more or less serious than that.
In cases such as this, people often ask whether they will get a different treatment because they are involved somehow in the system. The short answer is no, they will be treated as anyone else is. The slightly longer answer is that because of their position, they are more likely to get the book thrown at them.