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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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London woman sentenced for bigamy and inheritance tax fraud

12/07/2013

A London woman has today (Friday 12 July) been sentenced to 18 months suspended for two years and 180 hours unpaid work for bigamy and false accounting.

Ayse Akgun was convicted at the end of May after it was found that she was not legally married to Qatari businessman Mousa Hamoud Ali Al-Saif at the time of his death and that her claims to inheritance tax exemption on his £2.6m estate were falsified.

Akgun married a man called Ozan Mustafa in 2000, and later married Al-Saif whom she met whilst working as a croupier at a London casino. At the time of her second marriage, in 2006, she was still married to Ozan Mustafa. Upon Al-Saif's death in 2009 Akgun assumed inheritance rights to his £2.6m estate, took up occupation of his two London properties, and immediately submitted a claim for spousal exemption from inheritance tax.

A Jersey-based trust subsequently challenged her claim to Al-Saif's estate and in the course of the civil hearing, details of Akgun's bigamy and the Inheritance Tax fraud emerged. Akgun was subsequently arrested and criminal proceedings commenced against her in March 2012. She was convicted on 31st May, following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court.

Deputy Head of Fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service, Andrew Penhale, said: "Ayse Akgun's actions were a cynical attempt to manipulate the laws of marriage and inheritance for her own financial benefit. She sought to inherit an estate to which she was not entitled and to make even greater gain by dishonestly seeking an inheritance tax exemption on that estate. Cases of bigamy are unusual and all the more so with the added element of inheritance tax fraud.

"This conviction demonstrates that we are making significant strides in our efforts to clamp down on all forms of tax fraud in partnership with HMRC."

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 DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Division, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Organised Crime. In 2011-2012, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health (DoH) prosecution functions were transferred to the CPS. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. In 2010-2011 the CPS employed around 7,745 people and prosecuted 957,881 cases with 116,898 of these in the Crown Court, and the remaining 840,983 in the magistrates' courts. Of those we prosecuted, 93,106 defendants were convicted in the Crown Court and 727,491 in the magistrates' courts. In total 86% of cases prosecuted resulted in a conviction. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  5. 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.