Chambers Solicitors’ principal partner Mohammed Ayub and his brother Mohammed Riaz were jailed at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday (9 June) in relation to payments made to a fictitious agency, Legal Support Services, which was set up by Riaz to claim thousands of pounds in interpreters’ fees from the Legal Aid Agency.
The total cost of the fraud could never be established, but the prosecution estimated it to be around £200,000.
Ayub was jailed for three years and six months, while Riaz received a sentence of two years and nine months.
A third defendant, Neil Frew, who was a salaried partner and immigration department manager at Chambers, received a suspended term.
Chambers Solicitors, which had offices in Bradford and Wakefield, has since been closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The investigation was carried out by West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit.
Detective Inspector Ben McDonald, said:
“This was a lengthy and complex investigation and I would like to thank everyone who assisted in bringing this case to a successful conclusion.
“This sends a clear message to the public that anyone who commits large scale fraud, no matter what their position, will be dealt with accordingly.”