Lying accountant steals £1.4m in NHS and romance fraud
Former NHS executive and chartered accountant is jailed after committing “industrial scale” fraud to fund his lavish lifestyle.
Former NHS executive and chartered accountant Steven Day, has been jailed for 11 years and five months after siphoning almost £1.4m from various firms, defrauding the NHS and committing romance fraud on a friend.
The 51-year-old from Blairgowrie, Scotland was finally jailed with a nine-year director disqualification after a six-year investigation. Day admitted to 12 fraud offences and theft, amounting to £1.382,244, from various companies and three NHS trusts, including those that care for vulnerable adults.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Economic Crime Unite was alerted to the fraudulent activity from August 2011 after being handed reports from various victims up until September 2014.
“Stephen Day carried out a calculated fraud against the NHS,” said NHSCFA head of operations Richard Rippen. “The money stolen by Day would have been enough to fund the annual salaries of three nurses.
“We are pleased that through joint working with Greater Manchester Police we were able to show the court the full extent of his offending. If you suspect NHS fraud, please report it to us either through our online reporting form or by calling our fraud and corruption reporting line.”
Romance scam and cancer lies
Day also scammed a woman in a £4,500 romance fraud under the false pretence that he was a widower, whilst being in a relationship with two other men who were unaware of each other. He convinced the woman to pay for meals and transfer him money. Other lies included him having cancer, the death of his parents and that he had been involved in car crashes.
Leeds Crown Court was told the stolen cash was used to buy expensive cars, holidays and a portfolio of residential properties. His 45-acre Scotland estate had its own salmon fishing section of the River Annan.
Other purchases are believed to include a luxury holiday to Dubai, a refurbished holiday let in South Africa and expensive cars and furniture – all whilst working from the historical Flint Glass Works buildings in Ancoats.
Whilst sentencing him at Leeds Crown Court, the judge told him,“there was no boundary of dishonesty that you were not prepared to cross”, as he had used false claims of cancer to evade detection.
According to The Courier, he used his status to become director, financial director or company secretary of four organisations including a care home provider for vulnerable people and the management company of the block of flats where he lived in Manchester city centre.
Following his appointment, he emptied their bank accounts and removed evidence by creating false ledger accounts and documents. He faked a bank mandate at Asia House in Manchester to gain access to the money of the residents’ association members. He made up false explanations and used fake financial accounts to show directors at annual general meetings.
He was also the financial director of Gloucester-based Avida Care and took on the responsibility for payroll and support services.
GMP said he sold himself as a financial turnaround consultant and accountant', advising companies on their businesses. Day worked under 20 company names, including Entrusted Group Ltd, based at the Ancoats premises in Jersey Street.
“He built his life on cheating and stealing”
In a statement, lead investigator Detective Sergeant Stuart Donohue said:
“This has been the most painstaking investigation of my career to date. Around 160 evidence boxes, recovered from his estate and office, which are full to the brim with folders have been scrupulously examined by the team. And this doesn’t include all the interview transcripts, digital files and endless hours spent tracing his movements.
“Day was a career-criminal. He built his life on cheating and stealing. He was very meticulous in what he did and would often move money to and from so many accounts that it was difficult to distinguish the route it had taken. He did this to try and trip us up and confuse us, but we never doubted that we would uncover the extent of his deceit and greed.
“Every step of the way he has lied and tried to find any way to avoid going to prison. He has created numerous deliberate delays to the prosecution, which the Police and CPS have tirelessly dealt with, and has been unwilling to fully accept his actions. But, as with all crimes, it has caught up with him today.
“Although the investigation has now closed, our work does not stop here and we will now look at a Proceeds of Crime Hearing to try and recoup some of the funds he stole to recompense his numerous victims. We're also seeking a serious crime prevention order, to prevent further offending once he's served his time.
“While the case has been six years for some of the agencies investigating, I would like to thank the victims in this case for their unwavering patience during what has been such a devastating crime on their businesses, and their personal futures made worse by the fact that Day was considered a friend to some, and not just a colleague.”