Man lied over ‘deaths’ to claim paid time off
AN NHS worker lied about the deaths of three family members to con almost a year’s worth of paid leave from Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust.
Joseph Wilson, 41, told bosses that his brother had died, before repeating the same lie about his cousin and then his sister.
The former health care assistant was sacked for gross misconduct after he was discovered to be making up the deaths.
Wilson, of Fazakerley, Liverpool, carried out the cons over a period of three years before being sacked in December 2015.
He pleaded guilty to three offences of fraud by false representation at South Sefton Magistrates Court on July 5, 2017.
The healthcare assistant, who worked in hospitals in both Southport and Ormskirk, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months, 240 hours of unpaid community work and ordered to pay more than £5,000 compensation to Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.
The court heard that Wilson, a man of previous good character, was dismissed from his job at the trust after the discovery of the most recent deceit involving his sister.
But further inquiries by the trust’s anti-fraud specialists also identified the previous absences relating to other supposed family bereavements.
Following further investigation and an interview under caution, Wilson finally admitted that he had lied about all three deaths.
After the court hearing, investigating anti-fraud specialist Paul Bell said: “The relatively robust sentencing, despite Wilson’s previous good behaviour, reflects the fact that he had committed serial offences over a number of years.
‘‘He also hadn’t come clean about the deceptions when he had an opportunity to do so during his interview with investigators.
“Abuse of sickness absence is one of the main types of fraud in the NHS and this sentence demonstrates that this kind of abuse of public funds will not be tolerated.”
Steve Shanahan, director of finance for the trust, said: “The trust takes deceptions like Wilson’s very seriously. Every allegation of fraud brought to our attention is thoroughly investi- gated. We won’t hesitate to press for a prosecution to be brought where we believe the trust, and in turn the taxpayer, has suffered a financial loss.”
One of the sites belonging to the Trust from which Joseph Wilson conned paid leave