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IT manager pleads guilty to £800,000 NHS fraud

Friday 4th June, 2021

A senior IT manager who worked for the former Mid Essex Hospital Trust (MEHT) has pleaded guilty to defrauding his employer of over £800,000.

The offences took place when he was in the trusted role as Head of Unified Communications at MEHT, which has since been merged into Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust. The court determined that the total amount defrauded was £806,229.80.

Concerns first arose after the trust ran a data matching exercise on its payroll and accounts payable records, alongside Companies House records.

While he had submitted a ‘nil return’ declaration of interests form to the trust, the investigation confirmed he was actually the director of two companies that had received a large amount of money from the trust over at least seven years (2012-2019).

The investigation found that no products or services invoiced for by these companies were ever provided to the NHS.

The hundreds of invoices submitted by his own companies to MEHT were all individually for relatively modest amounts – meaning he was authorised to sign them off without further checks.

On the invoices he submitted, he also charged for VAT which was never forwarded to HMRC. The VAT he charged the NHS totalled an excess of £132,000.

He is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on 30 June 2021.

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