His spouse, a fellow lawyer and anti-corruption skilled, additionally faces corruption expenses

A global lawyer who labored within the Metropolis and on the headquarters of the Commonwealth has been charged with fraud.

Joshua Brien, 47, a former particular counsel for US outfit Cooley, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket on four August to face three counts of “fraud by abuse of place”.

His spouse and fellow lawyer, anti-corruption skilled Melissa Khemani, additionally faces corruption allegations.

Each used to work for the Commonwealth, a world membership initially for ex-British colonies, at its London headquarters.

Brien, an skilled on the legislation of the ocean, labored for the organisation between 2010 and 2016, according to the Times. He joined Cooley as a particular counsel in 2016 and is listed as a “rising star” in public worldwide legislation within the Authorized 500 rankings.

In addition to fraud by abuse of place, the Australian lawyer faces allegations of buying prison property, fraudulent misrepresentation and “possession of an article to be used in the middle of or in reference to fraud”. The Metropolitan Police said that every one the fees “relate to offences alleged to have taken place between 23 December 2014 and 29 October 2019 while he was employed as a authorized advisor or particular counsel”.

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Particularly, Brien is accused of stealing over £150,000 from the Commonwealth and mendacity about being sacked for gross misconduct in a 2017 job software, the Times reports.

Melissa Khemani, 40, a Canadian lawyer married to Brien, is charged with two counts of buying/utilizing/possessing prison property. The King’s Faculty London graduate has labored within the compliance division of the European Financial institution for Reconstruction and Growth and as a authorized adviser on anti-corruption on the Organisation for Financial Co-operation and Growth (OECD).

Earlier than that, Khemani labored at Commonwealth HQ, serving to members to implement the United Nations Conference towards Corruption.

Brien was bailed to seem at Southwark Crown Court docket on 1 September, whereas Khemani is again within the mags on 22 October, police mentioned in a press release.

The Commonwealth is led by Patricia Scotland QC, a former household lawyer who turned the primary feminine Lawyer Common below the final Labour authorities. She has beforehand been criticised over governance failings on the organisation, with the UK authorities suspending some of its membership payments earlier this yr after auditors flagged issues about procurement and monetary controls.

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