Ilford man and his partner jailed for three years after defrauding firm of £60,000
PUBLISHED: 11:04 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:04 18 March 2020
A solicitor and her partner from Ilford who defrauded a Fleet Street firm out of more than £60,000 have been jailed.
Babita Attra, 41, of Muncies Mews, Catford and Alexandru Major, 35, of Royston Gardens, Ilford were sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on Friday, March 13.
The pair submitted over-inflated payment claims for translation services to a solicitors’ firm and charged payments of £82,743 when in reality the true cost of the work was only £19,431.40.
Major was jailed three years for conspiracy to defraud and 18 months for transferring criminal property and 18 months for forgery – to run concurrently.
Attra was sentenced to two years for conspiracy to defraud, with 12 months for transferring criminal property and 12 months for fraud to run concurrently.
Attra, a consultant solicitor working for a firm based in Fleet Street, introduced Major to her colleagues and suggested he could be used as a translator for case files.
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Major was already an accredited police station representative for those requiring legal aid, and also owned an interpreter and translation services company.
The solicitors’ firm submitted quotes for services such as translation to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA), as part of standard procedure for LAA to assess and approve the funding.
In four separate cases, Attra manipulated the forms sent to LAA.
She submitted quotes including those from Major’s company, but would purposefully not include some of the lower quotes provided by other companies during the tendering process which made it appear that Major’s company was the most cost-effective and therefore received the work.
In return for her help in securing him the work at the over-inflated price, Major transferred £15,300, of his £63,312.08 fraudulent earnings, to Attra’s bank account.
After sentencing, Det Con Karl Rose, from the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, said: “Attra and Major have colluded in order to commit fraud and steal this company’s money.
“I have no doubt that if the discrepancies in this case were not noticed by those at the law firm and brought to our attention, they would still be offending today.
“Rightfully, they have now been punished for their selfish and unlawful actions.”
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