Lincolnshire

Fraudsters conned Lincolnshire NHS trust and other public bodies out of over £12m

An international organised crime group who defrauded public bodies, including a Lincolnshire NHS trust, out of over £12 million have been sentenced.

Conspirators who conned hospitals, councils and a government were given sentences of up to 10 years at Leicester Crown Court.

Lincolnshire Police have been investigating the series of crimes since 2011 under Operation Tarlac following a report from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The group forged letters, emails and faxes to 22 targeted organisations, pretending to be legitimate development contractors.

Courts heard that in one case, a £1.28 million payment to build a mental health unit at Lincoln St George’s Hospital was diverted when bank details were not checked.

The success of these frauds depended upon a number of bank accounts being available through which stolen funds could be moved out of the UK thereby frustrating the efforts of both the banks and law enforcement in repatriating stolen funds and conducting investigations in to those involved.

Those sentenced are:

  • Stephen Tyndale, 47, from Southwark, London. Conspiracy to defraud contrary to common law. Conspiracy to launder contrary to Section S1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977. Sentence: 10 years imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud and 10 years imprisonment for conspiracy to launder – to run concurrently
  • Monica Thomson, 40, from Lanarkshire in Scotland. Conspiracy to launder contrary to Section S1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977. Sentence: Deferred until July 21
  • Imtiaz Khoda, 44, from Lancaster in Lancashire. Conspiracy to launder contrary to Section S1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977. Sentence: four years, six months imprisonment and Directors Disqualification for five years
  • Asif Habib, 53, from Dubai. Conspiracy to launder contrary to Section S1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977. Sentence: three years, four months imprisonment and Directors Disqualification for eight years
  • Tariq Khan, 34, from Ilford in Essex. Doing acts tending and intending to pervert the course of public justice contrary to common law. Sentence: eight months imprisonment and compensation order of £20,000 in favour of Lincolnshire NHS Trust
  • Zahid Muhammed, 48, from Bearsden in Glasgow. Entering into or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement, contrary to Section 328(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Sentence: 21 months imprisonment suspended for two years, 210 hours of unpaid work and Directors Disqualification for three years
  • Yagnesh Patel, 46, from Staines-Upon-Thames in Middlesex. Entering into or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement, contrary to Section 328(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Sentence: 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years and 140 hours unpaid work
  • Abdul Naeem, 35, from Marston Green in Solihull. Conspiracy to launder contrary to Section S1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977. Sentence: five years, seven months imprisonment and Directors Disqualification for six years
  • Mohammed Nadeem, 33, from Redditch in Worcestershire. Conspiracy to launder contrary to section s1(1) criminal law act 1977 Sentence: 5 years 7 months imprisonment and Directors Disqualification for 6 years
  • Abdul Ghaffar, 69, from Redditch in Worcestershire. Entering into or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement, contrary to Section 328(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Sentence: 22 weeks imprisonment suspended for 15 months and electronically tagged curfew for two months
  • Oghogho Ehanire, 42, from Preston in Lancashire. Entering into or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement, contrary to Section 328(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Sentence: 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years and 210 hours unpaid work

Head of the Lincolnshire Police Economic Crime Unit, Sergeant Mike Billam said: “I am pleased to say that with the assistance of law enforcement in Dubai, Poland and other countries this investigation has got to the heart of this conspiracy and has disabled what was clearly an international organised crime group.

“An investigation of this size cannot succeed without a dedicated investigation team, the commitment and support of the Crown Prosecution Service and prosecution counsel as well as the assistance we have received from numerous police forces in the UK when undertaking arrests and searches. I would like to put on record my own appreciation for their help and support.

“I would like to pay particular thanks to NHS Protect and in particular the work undertaken by the NHS Computer Forensics Department in Newcastle who have provided exceptional support to this investigation, an outstanding example of partnership working.

“The sentences handed out to 10 defendants reflect the fact that these individuals, motivated only by their own personal greed, have sought to take the taxpayers’ money intended to fund public services and projects as well as to provide care and support to the most vulnerable in our society.”