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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

Former Royal Academy of Music Director of Finance sentenced for fraud


Andrew Penhale, Deputy Head of the CPS Central Fraud Group said: "Janet Whitehouse was a trusted finance director at the Royal Academy of Music, previously believed by her employers to be doing an excellent job. She has admitted betraying that trust by defrauding the Academy to the tune of £236,000.

"She has been sentenced for three offences, involving fabricating paperwork in order to increase her pension fund by £100,000, securing rent-free accommodation for her son valued in excess of £30,000 and submitting false invoices for her own benefit for over £100,000.

"She committed this fraud against a national institution over a period of four years.

"We are pleased to have brought the case to a swift conclusion."

Background Information:

  • Janet Whitehouse pleaded guilty to all charges at her first appearance, 2 May 2012, at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
  • Following her resignation on 24 March 2011, Whitehouse repaid a total of £319,465.05
  • Whitehouse was today sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court.
  • In August 2010 members of the middle management team became suspicious of invoices submitted by Stephen Newell, then Head of Information at the Royal Academy of Music. A complete audit was ordered and letters were sent to all the companies that RAM had dealings with, asking for confirmation of standard information. Only one company refused, Whitely Associates. It was not known at the time that one of the directors of this company was the defendant Whitehouse. Newell's case currently awaits trial.
  • Whitehouse fabricated paperwork in the name of the Academy's former principal, purporting to authorise increases to her pension fund totalling £100,000. A number of invoices from a company owned by her were also submitted for work that was entirely invented. Whitely Associates was paid over £100,000 for 'restructuring and organisational advice' and advice on the legal implications of awarding degrees, among other false services.