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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

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Four sentenced to a total of 29 years for £98 million tax fraud scheme


Four men have been sentenced to a total of 29 years imprisonment for their role in an elaborate tax fraud involving the funding of UK film productions. The defendants dishonestly claimed losses had been made so that income tax could be falsely claimed back from HM Revenue and Customs.

Keith Hayley, Robert Bevan, Anthony Savill and Norman Leighton were convicted of conspiracy to cheat at Birmingham Crown Court. Tax reliefs are available to UK investors in film productions and the defendants took advantage to make fraudulent claims.

In return for making payments to Limited Liability Partnership investors were to receive a share of any loss incurred during production, which they could offset against other income. Losses were inflated and therefore significant gains made by claiming tax relief.

Naheed Hussain, Deputy Head of the Specialist Fraud Division at the CPS said: "These men used a scheme designed to boost the British economy and stole money from the public purse.

"The CPS will now take steps to recover the criminal assets in this case."

Additional information

Keith Hayley, Robert Bevan, Anthony Savill and Norman Leighton devised the scheme which was sold on to investors by independent financial advisors.

The scheme worked by investors paying money into an LLP in the form of a long term loan. The scheme was marketed as funding the British film industry, however the scheme was designed to fail and the investors were able to offset their "losses" against other taxable earnings.

Details of the charges:

Keith Hayley, Robert Bevan and Charles Savill were each sentenced to nine years imprisonment, whilst Norman Leighton was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment (suspended).


Notes to Editors

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  3. 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.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly 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.