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Surgery manager charged with NHS fraud after undercover sting


Ben Reid, a prosecutor with the Specialist Fraud Division at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "I have authorised Asif Butt to be charged with one count of fraud by abuse of position, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

"As surgery manager, Asif Butt was in a position of trust at Sparbrook community and health centre, Birmingham. It is alleged that between 13 June 2012 and 4 August 2012, he committed fraud by dishonestly arranging for six people to be added to the NHS register, giving them access to free health care. Those six people were not entitled to free health care because they were not legally resident in the UK. It is further alleged that one of the six, who was an undercover journalist, obtained a free MRI scan and that Mr Butt asked to be paid £5,800.

"The decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We have decided that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.

"Mr Butt will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on 6 August.

"Mr Butt has the right to a fair trial and it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."


Notes to Editors

  1. This matter came to light following BBC Panorama's 'Britain's Secret Health Tourists', first aired on BBC One on Wednesday, 3 October 2012.
  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  4. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  5. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.