CPS pair from West Midlands admit £1m taxi fares scam

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Two Crown Prosecution Service employees have admitted making more than £1m worth of bogus claims for taxi fares.

Lisa Burrows, 41, and Tahir Mahmood, 50, admitted producing invoices for a fictitious cab firm purporting to cater for witnesses.

Burrows, a finance manager, from Oldbury, West Midlands, and office worker Mahmood, from Hodge Hill, Birmingham, will be sentenced in July.

They were warned to expect "inevitable" jail terms at Birmingham Crown Court.

The pair, both of previous good character, are believed to have used the proceeds of the five-year scam to pay off a mortgage and fund trips to Dubai.

Expensive purchases

They admitted fraud by abuse of position and were remanded in custody pending the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

Burrows, of Titford Road, and Mahmood, of Eastbourne Avenue, were charged after an investigation by police acting on a complaint from the CPS.

Prosecutor Brian Dean told the court that investigators were still attempting to trace the proceeds of the fraud.

Asking Judge Nicholas Webb for the case to be adjourned until 4 July, the barrister said ongoing inquiries into international bank accounts were being made by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Mr Dean said: "There is not, at the moment, any explanation for where the money has gone.

"A financial analyst is considering all the information so that a sentencing judge can be given a very clear idea of precisely what has happened to the money."

It was possible, Mr Dean said, that Mahmood had used £120,000 to clear a mortgage, while Burrows was thought to have visited Dubai on many occasions.

An earlier hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court was informed that Mahmood, who worked for the CPS as an administrative assistant, opened bank accounts using a different surname to facilitate the fraud.

The hearing at the lower court also heard that inquiries into Burrows' finances found evidence of expensive purchases of designer clothes, jewellery and holidays.

At the time of the previous hearing on 28 February, no more than £1,400 had been found in accounts connected to Mahmood, who claimed no funds were left from the extensive fraud.

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