Following an NHS Counter-Fraud Authority ("NHSCFA") investigation, a medical recruitment agent, along with four health care assistants and a nurse were sentenced for fraud offences.
Charles Elad, a recruitment officer, orchestrated the submission of unworked timesheets by five NHS workers (four Health Care Assistants and a Nurse). Various NHS hospitals in England were targeted, including Scunthorpe General, the Royal Blackburn, Shrewsbury and Darlington.
Mr Elad was imprisoned for four counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and one count of fraud. The five NHS workers were also given criminal sentences.
The NHSCFA reported that the total loss to the NHS was almost £73,000. The NHSCFA is now seeking to recover as much of these losses as possible under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
This is another great outcome for the NHSCFA. The NHSCFA's successful investigation and prosecution in this case acts as both a deterrent for fraud (particularly conduct that involves improper invoicing) and a means by which the NHSCFA can pursue the loss that has arisen to the NHS bodies that have been victims of this crime.
In cases where it may not be possible to recover the entire financial loss through the Proceeds of Crime Act, the NHS bodies involved could explore the pursuit of civil proceedings to recover any additional losses arising as a result of the fraud.
A medical recruitment agent, along with four health care assistants and a nurse he had persuaded to defraud the NHS, have all been sentenced at Kingston-upon-Hull Crown Court (18 May 2018) for conspiracy to defraud.