Fraudulent locksmith locked up after conning NHS out of half a million pounds
Andrew Taylor was found guilty of fraud at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
The chief locksmith at a major London hospital trust has been locked up after being found guilty of ripping off the NHS for more than half a million pounds, officials have said.
Andrew Taylor, who was the main locksmith for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London has been found guilty of fraud by abuse of position at Inner London Crown Court, according to the NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA), which investigated the case.
NHSCFA said that he had been sentenced to six years in prison, with at least half to be spent in custody.
The 55-year-old, of Ondine Road, London, who was responsible for obtaining a best value quotes for locksmith supplies, purchased locksmith materials from a company that he owned himself.
He did not declare a conflict of interest and charged “extortionate” mark-up prices, some up to 1,200%, NHSCFA said.
Taylor started to work at the hospital trust as a carpenter in 1998 and was appointed permanent locksmith in 2006.
Between 2007 and 2013 a company called Surety Security supplied Guy’s and St Thomas’ with locksmith materials.
Investigators found that apart from two very low value jobs, Surety Security had no customer other than Guy’s and St Thomas’.
It was later discovered that the company was owned and controlled by Taylor.
When the deception was discovered Taylor was suspended, and resigned before disciplinary procedures were completed.
The NHSCFA said that Taylor abused his position of trust to defraud his employer of £598,524.27.
The authority said that a jury unanimously found him guilty of fraud by abuse of position.
It is the first conviction secured by the NHSCFA since its establishment as a special health authority in November 2017.
“This is a significant and rewarding outcome for the NHSCFA, and sends a clear message that we will intervene and take action against those who commit fraud against the NHS and who take money originally intended for patient care for their own personal gain,” said Sue Frith, interim chief executive of the NHSCFA.
“Andrew Taylor exploited his position at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to satisfy his own greed and personal lifestyle.
“The sentence imposed today should act as a clear deterrent to anyone else who thinks that NHS funds are there for their own gain, instead of being there to meet the healthcare needs of everyone.
“The NHSCFA’s action now continues to pursue the money taken by Taylor in order to return it to the NHS.”