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Nurse among seven sentenced for defrauding NHS of £73,000 with false time sheets

Healthcare staff recorded 'ghost shifts' with employment agency

Healthcare staff recorded 'ghost shifts' with employment agency

Timesheet
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust spotted the suspicious timesheets 
and worked with NHS Counter Fraud Authority to tackle the problem. Picture: iStock

A nurse was given a suspended prison sentence after helping defraud the NHS of almost £73,000.

Violet Nhende and four healthcare assistants were persuaded by a medical recruitment agent to submit large numbers of fraudulent timesheets to the agency.

The agency workers were subsequently paid for the unworked shifts, while the agency then, in good faith, invoiced NHS hospitals, including Scunthorpe General, Royal Blackburn, Royal Shrewsbury and Darlington Memorial.

The five healthcare staff and the agent, Charles Elad, were all sentenced at Hull crown court last week for conspiracy to defraud. Elad’s wife, Tanyi Esekang, was convicted of a money laundering offence.

Elad was working as a recruitment officer for ID Medical, which was unaware of the fraudulent activity, at the time of the offences. 

Hidden transactions

Once an agency worker had been paid for the 'ghost shifts’, Elad would then request they make a payment to him, using his wife’s bank account to hide the transactions.

‘Everyone knows this trust needs every pound it has to treat people who are ill’

Marcus Hassall

 

The trust's finance director Marcus Hassall said: 'Those convicted were involved in carefully orchestrated conspiracies to defraud the NHS, and our trust, of thousands of pounds. These were not victimless crimes.

'Everyone knows this trust needs every pound it has to treat people who are ill and provide the best care we can. I’d like to thank the team here who initially spotted this fraud, took immediate steps to stamp it out and then worked tirelessly alongside the NHS Counter Fraud Authority to secure today’s result.'

Personal gain

NHS Counter Fraud Authority head of operations Richard Rippin said: ‘Although this crime was orchestrated by Charles Elad, all seven conspired to deliberately defraud multiple NHS organisations. They had been employed to care for NHS patients, but instead took resources away from patient care for their own personal gain.’

ID Medical has been contacted for comment.


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