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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
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Eight sentenced after top London cancer hospital defrauded of £640,000


Eight people were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court today (Tuesday, 29 July) after fraudsters fleeced a top London cancer hospital of more than £640,000.

Stacey Tipler exploited her access to the Royal Marsden NHS Trust's computerised payment system to divert vital funds for medicine and equipment to people she knew or had met through her then-partner and was jailed for four years.

Scott Chaplin, 33 and Stacey Tipler's then fiance, coordinated the fraud and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Between December 2011 and May 2012 a total of £642,827.98 was diverted. Some was recovered when the fraud was uncovered but £310,857 remains unaccounted for. The case was investigated by NHS Protect.

Tipler, 32, removed a number of the Trust's suppliers' bank details and replaced them with the account details of Adrian Horan, 43, Clinton Woolery, 35, Thomas Quinlan, 26, Russell Baker, 32 and William Flynn, 37. The money was then laundered through withdrawals as cash or banker's cheques.

Roy Harriott, 31, was sentenced after receiving a banker's cheque drawn from Horan's account, which he paid into Tipler and Chaplin's accounts before withdrawing the bulk of the money.

Horan was jailed for 21 months, Woolery for 10 months, Quinlan for eight months and Flynn for 12 months.

Russell Baker was given a 9-week suspended sentence while Roy Harriott was given a 12-week suspended sentence. Both were ordered to carry out 120 hours' unpaid work and will have a 9pm-5am curfew for three months.

Kelly Matthews, a lawyer with the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, said: "This was a sophisticated, large-scale fraud orchestrated to divert vital public funds for essential equipment and medicines at the Royal Marsden.

"Tipler and Chaplin bear the brunt of responsibility but they didn't act alone. It was only with the others agreeing for their bank accounts to be used to launder the money that they were all able to benefit from the fraud.

"The vital money was used towards Tipler and Chaplin's upcoming wedding, clearing debts and lavish goods, including Gucci and Louis Vuitton. This was a selfish and gross misuse of public funds and today those responsible have been brought to justice."

Sue Frith, Head of the National Investigation Service at NHS Protect, said: "This gang stole a large amount of money from the NHS which was intended for patient care. The Royal Marsden is world-famous for its treatment of cancer patients and the funds stolen could have paid for radiotherapy, chemotherapy and cancer drugs.

"These custodial sentences reflect the seriousness of the offences and will act as a powerful deterrent to others. All suspicions of fraud reported to NHS Protect will be followed up and investigated wherever appropriate. We press for prosecution of offenders and seek the strongest possible sanctions."

Sentenced were:

  1. Stacey Tipler - found guilty of conspiracy to defraud
  2. Scott Chaplin - found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to money launder
  3. Adrian Horan - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to money launder
  4. Clinton Woolery - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money launder
  5. Thomas Quinlan - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money launder
  6. Russell Baker - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money launder
  7. William Flynn - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money launder
  8. Roy Harriott - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money launder


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 four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct 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 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  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.