Three judges charged with alleged scam involving legal aid claims of £12.6million

Three judges have appeared in court charged with an alleged scam involving legal aid claims of £12.6million.

A total of eight people have appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today (tues) to indicate not guilty pleas of fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud by submitting legal costs to the Courts and Tribunals Service.

It is believed £1.4 million of the claims were paid out.

Part-time immigration judges Rasib Ghaffar, 48, his wife Kareena Maciel, 46, and part-time civil judge Razi Shah, 47 are among those charged.

Prosecutor Joe Bird said: “These charges relate to a number of claims made under the defendant’s cost orders.

“The Crown say they were fraudulent in that they involved either false claims or over- inflated claims.

“These defendants were involved in some if not all of those claims. They are all linked together, different firms, different costs but there is a common thread between them.”

According to the charges, all the frauds took place between the beginning of 2011 and May 2013.

The defendants are said to have made representations ‘which they knew was or might be untrue or misleading’ in respect of legal costs to ‘make a gain for yourself’.

The cases named in the charges as being the ones the legal aid relates to are: ‘R v Pritesh Naik’, ‘R v Richard Lowry’, ‘R v Amy Trinh’, ‘R v Taj Mahal Partnership, Farrukh Miah and Chunu Miah’ and ‘R v Taj Mahal 2 (Poole) ltd, Miah Partnership, Farrukh Miah and Chunu Miah’.

Barrister Ghaffar and solicitor Maciel, of Woodford, East London, decide on asylum claims and migrant appeals. Shah, of Windsor, Berks, is a solicitor advocate.

Barrister Shahid Rashid, 57, solicitors Joseph Ameyaw-Kyeremeh, 67, Azhar Khan, 46, Lloyd Moody, 48, and legal clerk Gazi Khan, 50, also appeared in the dock in front of Magistrates’ this morning.

Another solicitor Samira Bashir, 46, is due to appear later today.

Bashir, of Henry Road, Slough is charged with one count of fraud by false representation between 8 May 2011 and 19 September 2013.

Rashid, of Cherry Avenue, Langley is charged with two counts of fraud by false representation, between 1 June 2011 and 21 December 2011 and 8 May 2012 and 19 September 2013, and two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation on 31 May 2012 and between 1 January 2011 and 7 May 2013.

Shah, of Edinburgh Gardens, Windsor, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 1 January 2011 and 7 May 2013.

Ameyaw-Kyeremeh, of Wandle Road, Croydon, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 1 January 2011 and 7 May 2013.

Ghaffar, of Malford Grove, Redbridge is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 1 January 2011 and 7 May 2013.

Azhar Khan, of Cecil Park, Pinner is charged with one count of fraud by false representation on 31 May 2012 and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 1 January 2011 and 7 May 2013.

Gazi Khan, of Lingwood Gardens, Isleworth is charged with three counts of fraud by false representation, between 1 June 2011 and 21 December 2011, between 8 May 2012 and 19 September 2013 and on 31 May 2012, and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 1 January 2011 and 7 June 2013.

Maciel, of Malford Grove, Redbridge,is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 1 January 2011 and 7 May 2013.

Moody, of Douglas Road, Surbiton is charged with two counts of fraud by false representation, between 1 June 2011 and 21 December 2011, and between 8 May 2012 and 19 September 2013.

They were all nailed to next appear at Southwark Crown Court on 14 August.

 

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