Former finance director of Royal Academy of Music jailed for fraud

Janet Whitehouse sentenced to 20 months in prison for stealing £236,000 from the charity, and ordered to repay the money

Janet Whitehouse
Janet Whitehouse

The former finance director of the Royal Academy of Music has been jailed for stealing £236,000 from the charity.

Janet Whitehouse had pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud. On Wednesday, at Southwark Crown Court in London, she was sentenced to 20 months in prison for each count, the sentences to run concurrently.

A spokesman for the charity confirmed that Whitehouse had cheated the organisation out of a total of £236,000. She had fabricated paperwork to increase her pension by £100,000 and submitted false invoices for more than £100,000.

The court ordered her to repay the money. Whitehouse also secured rent-free academy accommodation for her son without approval, said the Royal Academy spokesman.

Whitehouse had worked at the academy since the early 1990s.

After the sentencing, Detective Inspector Andrew Fleming of the Metropolitan Police’s economic and complex crime unit said Whitehouse had abused her position and taken advantage of the faith placed in her by friends and colleagues.

The deceptions came to light in February 2011 when internal financial control systems at the academy identified financial irregularities. Whitehouse left her position when her actions were exposed, the spokesman said.

The academy’s annual report and accounts for 2010/11 says that measures have been taken to strengthen its internal control procedures as a result. These include a review and revision of financial regulations and of the terms of reference of the finance and general purposes committee.

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