Pair convicted of conspiracy to steal £700,000 from RHS

Three people who stole almost £700,000 from the RHS are to be sentenced on 9 September.

Elaine Summers, 54, and Shaheen Kadri, 44, have been convicted of taking money for cleaning work that was never carried out for the RHS.

Summers, of Notting Hill, west London, was found guilty of stealing £360,859.51 between January 2004 and January 2014.

Kadri, of Camden, north London, was convicted on Friday of stealing £317,110 during the same time after a trial at Southwark crown court.

Stuart Medhurst, 55, a former RHS operations manager of no fixed address, previously pleaded guilty to stealing money from the charity.

John Traversi, prosecuting, said: "No legitimate work was carried out on behalf of or by Elaine Summers and the payments made into her account were a fraud, engineered by the issuing of false purchase orders by Stuart Medhurst."

The three defendants will be sentenced on 9 September.

Judge Mr Recorder Gopal Hooper said: "The likely sentence of this kind of offence is a custodial sentence.

"There is a large amount of money involved over a long period of time.

"I do not want you to be under any illusions that by putting this case back for pre-sentence reports and granting you bail that I am giving you any indication of what the sentence is likely to be."

RHS director general Sue Biggs said: "The RHS uses donations and funds from its supporters to enrich lives and improve horticulture and the environment across the UK. For someone to commit fraud and take money from a charity is deplorable.

"This fraud was detected as over the last four years we have been conducting in-depth audits across all our work and implementing more robust measures and controls to protect the Society. Today we’re in a strong position to ensure unacceptable activity could not take place. The losses to the revenue of the RHS have been largely covered by insurance.

"We routinely monitor our work and look at all our procedures and controls to safeguard the RHS, its employees and volunteers and the interests of people who support us.  We conduct audits across all our work and have further enhanced our financial controls to give even greater protection to the Society’s funds."

The RHS would not comment on who was auditing the activities of the department when the crimes took place.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

This year's Saltex will be looking to build on the success of last year by packing in a multitude of exhibitors and sessions over the two days, Sally Drury reports.

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

It's now around one year since work started on Sheffield's groundbreaking "Grey to Green" scheme, one of the largest urban green infrastructure projects in the UK.

Tree lifting, moving  and planting

Tree lifting, moving and planting

Successful relocations can see even big trees flourish while costing less than buying new stock, says Sally Drury.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Contracts & Tenders

Sally Drury on professional gardening

Sally Drury

A monthly checklist of things to do and watch out for to keep your garden looking its best.