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COPFS

Legal Aid Fraud (30/12/2016) (R014913)

 Thank you for your e-mail of 14 December 2016 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA): 

“I am requesting the following information, and would like the information for each item provided for the last five years until present, broken down by year.

 

1. How many reports has COPFS received from the Scottish Legal Aid Board regarding allegations involving i) solicitors and ii) advocates?

2. How many reports has COPFS received from the Police regarding allegations of legal aid fraud involving i) solicitors and ii) advocates?

3. How many legal aid fraud cases were prosecuted? How many of these were i) solicitors and ii) advocates? What were the outcomes of the cases involving solicitors and advocates?”

 

Firstly I should explain that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s case management database is a live, operating database.  It is designed to meet our business needs in relation to the processing of cases and the information within it is structured accordingly.  We do not have a separate statistical database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes.

 

Where we are able to provide data this data relates to the number of charges reported and not individual cases reported.  There may be more than one charge involved in one reported case.


In relation to the individual aspects of your request I can advise as follows:


1.  A search of all charges reported by the Scottish Legal Aid Board to COPFS during the period 1 April 2010 to 30 November 2016 revealed that no charges involved solicitors and advocates as accused.

2.  A search of all charges reported during the period 1 April 2010 to 30 November 2016 by Police Scotland to COPFS which involved contraventions of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 revealed that no charges involved solicitors and advocates as accused.

3.  Over the period of your request there were 6 prosecutions raised in relation to legal aid fraud charges, although as explained above there were no charges involving solicitors or advocates as accused.  The following table displays a breakdown of the charges where prosecutions were raised by year:

 


2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17*

4

1

1

0

0

0

               


*Up to 30 November 2016.


Thank you for your e-mail of 14 December 2016 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

“I am requesting the following information, and would like the information for each item provided for the last five years until present, broken down by year.

1. How many reports has COPFS received from the Scottish Legal Aid Board regarding allegations involving i) solicitors and ii) advocates?

2. How many reports has COPFS received from the Police regarding allegations of legal aid fraud involving i) solicitors and ii) advocates?

3. How many legal aid fraud cases were prosecuted? How many of these were i) solicitors and ii) advocates? What were the outcomes of the cases involving solicitors and advocates?”

Firstly I should explain that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s case management database is a live, operating database.  It is designed to meet our business needs in relation to the processing of cases and the information within it is structured accordingly.  We do not have a separate statistical database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes. 

Where we are able to provide data this data relates to the number of charges reported and not individual cases reported.  There may be more than one charge involved in one reported case.

In relation to the individual aspects of your request I can advise as follows:

1.  A search of all charges reported by the Scottish Legal Aid Board to COPFS during the period 1 April 2010 to 30 November 2016 revealed that no charges involved solicitors and advocates as accused.

2.  A search of all charges reported during the period 1 April 2010 to 30 November 2016 by Police Scotland to COPFS which involved contraventions of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 revealed that no charges involved solicitors and advocates as accused.

3.  Over the period of your request there were 6 prosecutions raised in relation to legal aid fraud charges, although as explained above there were no charges involving solicitors or advocates as accused.  The following table displays a breakdown of the charges where prosecutions were raised by year:

 

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17*

4

1

1

0

0

0

               

*Up to 30 November 2016.