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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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Surgery manager convicted of NHS fraud


Asif Butt, a former practice manager at an NHS surgery in Birmingham, was today [Friday, 19 December] handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Birmingham Crown Court for fraud, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

He was also handed a 12-month supervision order, must pay £800 costs and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Between 13 June 2012 and 04 August 2012, Asif Butt registered six people onto the NHS register allowing them access to free health care to which they were not entitled.

Mr Butt was caught by an undercover reporter for BBC's Panorama. He asked to be paid £5,800 for the registrations of six people - all of whom did not exist.

The defendant knew that the six "people" he registered were not entitled to NHS health care as they were not legal residents in the UK.

The undercover reporter posed as one of these fictitious people and went on to obtain a free MRI scan as a result.

Ben Reid, senior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service said: "Asif Butt abused his position of authority purely for his own financial gain. Instead of safeguarding the public purse, he used his knowledge of NHS systems to make himself a profit.

"Following an investigation by undercover journalists these actions came to light and he now has to pay the price for his dishonesty."


Notes to Editors

  1. This matter came to light following BBC Panorama's 'Britain's Secret Health Tourists', first aired on BBC One on Wednesday, 3 October 2012.
  2. Asif Butt was convicted of: Fraud, contrary to sections 1 and 3 of the Fraud Act 2006.
  3. Charge in full: Asif Butt between 13/6/2012 and 4/8/2012, at Birmingham, committed fraud in that, while occupying a position, namely practice manager at Sparkbrook Health Centre, in which you were expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of the National Health Service, you dishonestly abused that position intending thereby to make a gain for yourself, namely £5,800.
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  5. 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.
  6. 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:
  7. 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.