Stephen Day: Former NHS executive jailed after swindling more than £1m from several companies

A former NHS executive has been jailed for defrauding the health service and several companies – including those providing care for vulnerable adults.

Stephen Day, who was also a chartered accountant, was sentenced to 11 years and five months in prison on Thursday following a six-year investigation which included the police, the NHS and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The 53-year-old, of Blairgowrie, Scotland, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court.

He admitted 12 counts of fraud and theft, and has been handed a directors disqualification for nine years.

Day claimed to his victims that he was a financial turnaround consultant and accountant, but is thought to have stolen almost £1.4m.

He used more than 20 different company names and would siphon money from his "customers" accounts into his own.

Greater Manchester Police’s specialist fraud investigation team found out about the scams between 2011 and 2014 following reports and started investigating.

Among his victims were The Royal Bank of Scotland and Avida Care Limited, which provides home visits to vulnerable adults.

At the same time as the police were investigating, the NHS counter fraud authority discovered that Day had been appointed as a financial director to a number of different trusts and had not disclosed his other roles to his employers.

He was receiving a full time salary from both Merseyside Commissioning Support Unit and South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG.

A joint investigation between GMP, the NHS and the Crown Prosecution Service was launched.

It was found out during the course of the inquiry that, despite being in a relationship with two different men, Day started a romantic relationship with a woman after claiming to be a widower.

He convinced her to part with around £5,000 by getting her to send him money and pay for food.

The investigation did not find out how Day spent all of his money, but it did find he had bought a number of properties in Scotland, a property in South Africa and also took a holiday to Dubai.

Richard Rippin, Head of Operations of the NHS counter fraud authority, said: "Stephen Day carried out a calculated fraud against the NHS.

"Any money lost to fraud affects the amount of resources the NHS has available for front line care. The money stolen by Day would have been enough to fund the annual salaries of three nurses."

Detective Sergeant Stuart Donohue, who led the investigation, said: "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."

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