back to article Former IT manager from Essex pleads guilty to defrauding the NHS of £800k

A former senior IT manager has pleaded guilty to defrauding the UK’s National Health Service of £800,000 over seven years. Barry David Stannard, a 53-year-old from Chelmsford, Essex, admitted to four offences at Chelmsford Crown Court, including two charges of fraud by false representation and two charges of cheating the …

  1. Ochib

    VAT non payment

    I would have thought that not paying HMRC the difference between input and output VAT would come under defrauding HMRC and not the NHS

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: VAT non payment

      I am surprised HMRC didn't pick up on the VAT fraud straight away. All they had to do was match up the supplier's VAT returns with the NHS trust's. I assume this happens automatically as they seem to know how much you owe them and therefore don't understand why it wasn't flagged immediately. Defrauding your employer is one thing, but attempting to pull one over on the tax man who literally has your books right under their nose is monumentally stupid.

      1. johnfbw

        Re: VAT non payment

        Companies don't declare which companies they purchased/sold stuff to/from - they just give a total so there is no way to do this kind of matching.

        Of course with Making Tax Digital this is the aim, but it is extremely complex

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: VAT non payment

      "he also charged for VAT "

      ...and he'd have got away with too if it wasn't the those pesky VATmen and their dog!!

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: VAT non payment

      TFA says he was found guilty of "two charges of cheating the public revenue", maybe one was for cheating the NHS, and one for the taxman.

      Or possibly he just hasn't been charged with tax offences yet.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Promotion to the Cabinet chumocracy

    He seems eminently qualified (other than getting caught without the proper handshake, obvs)

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Promotion to the Cabinet chumocracy

      Yep - of course the difference is merely the amount they can sign off..

      What do they say, if you owe the bank a thousand pounds it's your problem, if you owe them a million pounds it's theirs.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Promotion to the Cabinet chumocracy

      I wonder what the downvoters objected to? There is nothing factually inaccurate in your post.

  3. Velv

    Sadly he'll be punished more for the fraud on HMRC than on the NHS, HMRC don't take any prisoners.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What an absolute idiot. If he just got a friend of his, or his wife to be director it would all be above board.

    1. Martin Summers

      Not supplying the services you've billed for is above board is it? May I interest you in my services?

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        I think we can find plenty of projects paid a fortune to consultants where the services were not delivered!

    2. johnfbw

      And didn't put the money into his personal bank account!

      1. Korev Silver badge

        "But the money was only resting in my account"

        Father Jack rather than Ted though ->

  5. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

    Not sure how payroll records helped here, the Companies House records must have fingered him as director and signing authority. His big mistake is trying VAT fraud, those people can search anything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The trust will have run names on the payroll against companies house and identified their employee as the director of the company.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      > Not sure how payroll records helped here

      I took it to mean that the auditors had checked bank account numbers on the payroll with bank account numbers of suppliers. An obvious check and you would have thought he'd known that - but never underestimate how greed blinds people to the obvious.

      I hope he gets a substantial prison sentence.

      1. Blofeld's Cat

        "I hope he gets a substantial prison sentence."

        Hopefully he will also be made to pay the NHS back - with interest.

    3. tfewster

      Separation of Duties is/should be standard - Finance vet and approve suppliers before issuing Purchase Orders, and Accounts Payable check deliveries. Which does not just mean forwarding the invoice to the budget holder!

      I expect other heads will roll in this sorry situation.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        But going through finance vetting just to buy (eg) lunch on a business trip is a chore, so in a lot of places, managers are able to spend a certain amount at their discretion. This guy made sure that all of the invoices he submitted from his own company were within his discretionary spending limit.

        Another way to play this (that might have been harder to detect), would have been for him to sell via Amazon's 'Marketplace' or similar. That way the invoices would come from Amazon. Of course, then he'd have had to find a way to make sure other people didn't try to buy his, presumably non-existent, products via Amazon.

  6. DS999 Silver badge

    Criminals who get too greedy get caught

    I wonder if he was originally found out from not paying VAT. That's pretty easy to link between payer and payee, and once they started investigating and found out the guy signing for the invoices was the owner of the companies being paid it probably didn't take long to figure out the rest.

    I'll bet he started out small and when he wasn't caught after the first few years went for more and more money until the VAT non payment became large enough to be noticed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Criminals who get too greedy get caught

      This time and this guy, I would not be surpised if everyone else is doing it too and he only slipped up by not sharing with the spider at the centre of the web.

  7. Fading

    Perhaps he should have had his sister own the companies......

    1. Twanky Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps he should have had his sister own the companies......

      Dunno how your family works, but if I tried to make my sister do something she didn't want to I'd be eating hospital food - not porridge.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  8. Tessier-Ashpool

    "Stannard is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on 30 June 2021"

    £800K can go a long way to providing a comfy lifestyle somewhere like Thailand!

  9. Winkypop Silver badge

    Tears before bedtime

    And I don’t fancy the bed he could end up in.

    1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge

      Re: Tears before bedtime

      No, me neither, whichever end up.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only he'd been a member of or contributor to

    the Conservative Party, he might have got away with it, and on a much larger scale as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If only he'd been a member of or contributor to

      Yeah. If he'd given a kickback^wdonation to the tories, there would have been no case to answer to.

  11. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    (former) Manager in IT?

    He's no BOFH.

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