Bradford trio jailed for £160,873 fraud on Legal Aid Agency

09/06/2017

Mohammed Ayub, formerly principal partner at Chambers Solicitors, Bradford, together with Neil Frew, former head of the immigration department at Chambers and Mohammed Riaz, the brother of Mohammed Ayub, have today been sentenced to a total of eight years and three months in jail at Teesside Crown Court.

They were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Legal Aid Agency of £160,873 at Sheffield Crown Court on 23 November 2016.

Inflated invoices for interpretation services were submitted to the Legal Aid Agency by the defendants over a number of years, who claimed the interpreters were booked through an agency, when in fact the interpreters were booked directly from Chambers solicitors. The address of the alleged agency was in the same building as Chambers solicitors, whilst its "owner", Mohammed Riaz, was revealed to be the brother of Mohammed Ayub.

Peter Mann, from the CPS, said: "This was a calculated, significant and systematic fraud on the Legal Aid Agency, carried out over a number of years. It is disgraceful that those who are themselves offering professional legal services should engage in a criminal conspiracy to cynically defraud a government agency of thousands of pounds. It seems that the motive was simple greed.

"The CPS presented a strong and detailed case to the court to demonstrate that the various implausible explanations offered by the defendants for their actions were all lies. The sentences the defendants will now be serving sends out a very clear message that no one is above the law."

Notes

  • Peter Mann is Head of the Complex Casework Unit, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside
  • Neil Frew was sentenced to two years' imprisonment suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work
  • Mohammed Ayub was sentenced to three years and six months' imprisonment
  • Mohammed Riaz was sentenced to two years and nine months' imprisonment