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

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Woman sentenced for pretending to be a barrister

15/06/2015

A former Guildford Borough Councillor has been sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to forging her qualifications and claiming to be a qualified barrister.

Monika Juneja, who was a councillor until the elections in May 2015, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing at the Old Bailey to three counts of forgery, one charge of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception and one charge of wilfully pretending to be a barrister. Today she was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service in addition to the suspended sentence.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, Jaswant Narwal, said: "This deception is one that dates back over 14 years and during that time, Monika Juneja never let her academic failings get in the way of what she wanted to achieve. She claimed to be a barrister over many years, despite never having actually qualified or being entitled to call herself a barrister in any context.

"After she first failed to achieve the qualifications she needed to attend law school in London, she forged a letter claiming to be from the University of Greenwich, saying she had achieved the required results. Monika Juneja then failed to pass her Bar exams, but continued her deception by forging another letter from the law school she had attended, stating she had passed.

"These falsified qualifications were used repeatedly on CVs and applications, meaning Monika Juneja was able to gain a variety of jobs, all of which were more highly paid than they otherwise would have been, because of the inaccurate information she gave her potential employers.

"She continued the deception when she stood as a councillor in the May 2011 local elections, referring to herself as a barrister. Constituents complained that she had misrepresented herself, which led to the official investigation and, in the face of overwhelming evidence from the prosecution, she finally admitted her deception."

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.