Former RAM Director Jailed for Fraud

Janet Whitehouse, the former director of finance at the Royal Academy of Music, has been sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to defrauding the RAM of more than £230,000.

Whitehouse was forced to resign from the RAM after members of the Academy staff sounded the alarm when they became suspicious of invoices raised by the then Head of Information, Stephen Newell. The invoices were to be paid to Whitely Associates - a company owned by Janet Whitehoue. The Crown Prosecution Service said the work "as entirely invented."

Whitehouse further fabricated an authorisation from the Academy's former principal, Curtis Price, which increased her pension fund to £100,000 as well as securing rent-free accommodation from the RAM for her son.

The academy's principal Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood said: "This has been a distressing episode but it was brought to light by the alertness of our staff and has thankfully not impacted on the life of our talented students.

"All the funds have now been recovered and robust measures have been put in place to ensure it can not happen happen again."

Stephen Newell has yet to plead. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 13.

Andrew Penhale, deputy head of the CPS Central Fraud Group, said the CPS was "pleased to have brought the case to a swift conclusion."