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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

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Fake locum doctor sentenced

17/07/2015

A man who pretended to be a qualified doctor has been sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court to six years in prison.

Levon Mkhitarian pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud, 13 counts of making articles for use in frauds, one count of possession of an identity document with improper intention and one count of obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.

It is calculated that the defendant received payments totalling £85,004.04 for work obtained through using this false documentation and came into contact with 3363 patients. He undertook work that he was not qualified to perform on cancer wards, transplant wards, general surgery, cardio wards, A&E on call, elderly wards and other general wards.

Ms Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, said: "This is an extremely troubling case which involved over 3,000 patients fooled into believing the person caring for them was a qualified doctor. We all put a huge amount of trust in our doctors when we are often at our most vulnerable, but Levon Mkhitarian violated that trust for his own personal gain - an estimated £85,000.

"The potential risk to people's health makes this a particularly serious and dangerous fraud. Levon Mkhitarian has now seen the full extent of his lies finally exposed.

"The CPS will now take steps to recover the criminal assets of his fraud under the Proceeds of Crime Act."

Background

Levon Mkhitarian, born in the former Soviet State of Georgia, was issued with a UK visa in 2007. In 2010, he obtained provisional registration from the General Medical Council (GMC) which allowed him to practice under the status of foundation year one training. He commenced but did not complete this foundation year, which does not allow a doctor to work as a locum (unless it is a locum training post).

In 2013 the GMC were notified by the North West London Hospitals Trust that the defendant had perpetrated an email from a person supposedly from the GMC that he was fit for a role that he was applying for. This person did not exist and a subsequent investigation took place. He was suspended in August 2013 and ultimately struck from the register on 22 August 2014.

Following his suspension he created a number of false documents which he used to apply for locum positions through various agencies, using the name of a genuine and currently practicing doctor. It was realised Levon Mkhitarian was pretending to be another doctor when he started work at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent in April 2015 when the HR department tried to create a personal issue smart card and it showed one had already been issued in that name with a different photograph.

The £85,000 is the total amount of payment that the Police have detected the defendant receiving throughout the period of time of his fraudulent behaviour. The figure in relation to the patients covers the entire period from September 2013 through to April 2015.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.