NHS ‘rock star’ managers sentenced for fraud

13 Nov 18

Men who defrauded £800,000 from a Welsh NHS board using the names of famous pop stars have been jailed for a combined total of 14 years.

Three NHS managers from Powys Teaching Health Board were found to have misappropriated NHS money by receiving “pay-offs” from external contractors, after an investigation by NHS Counter Fraud Service Wales.

One of the men set up a company with the intention of paying himself for the work he was supposed to be contracting out on behalf of PTHB – from this company he invoiced the health board using false names taken from members of the rock band U2.

Cheryl Hill, deputy manager of NHS CFS Wales, said: “Defrauding NHS Wales in any capacity is totally unacceptable. The sentences at court today send out a strong deterrent message to anyone who tries to defraud NHS Wales.”

Mark Evill (47), who was assisted by Robert Howells (65) and Michael Cope (43), were handed sentences of 7, 4 and 3 years respectively.

Evill invoiced the health board using false names “Paul Hewson” and “David Evans”, making over £822,000. Paul Hewson and David Evans are better known as Bono and The Edge from the rock band U2.

The investigation found that Evill spent approximately £300,000 of defrauded money on a number of properties in South Wales, luxury holidays and expensive items like cars and watches.

Sue Firth, interim chief executive of NHS Counter Fraud Authority, said the sentencing “reflects the ways in which justice will be sought against anyone who chooses to take money from the public sector. The successful conviction is another win for the NHS and a big deterrent to those who dare to abuse it.”

The Cabinet Office recently announced that 11 councils are to take part in pilot schemes to confirm voter ID in order to cut down on electoral fraud.

Read CIPFA chief executive Rob Whiteman’s blog on why collaboration is key to fighting fraud. 

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