An East Dulwich locksmith who defrauded Guy’s and Thomas’ NHS Trust of nearly £600,000 has been sentenced to six years in prison.
A jury unanimously found 55-year-old Andrew Taylor, from Ondine Road, guilty at his sentencing at the Inner London Crown Court on Monday, March 26.
The NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) will now seek to recover the £598,000 Taylor had illegally obtained.
The jury heard how Taylor – who had worked for the trust since 1998 – began defrauding the trust after he was appointed as its permanent locksmith in 2006 and given the responsibility to source the best-value quotes for locksmith supplies.
According to the authority, in 2007 Taylor set up Surety Security, and began exploiting his position at the trust to buy and supply his own hardware at mark ups of up to 1,200%.
Investigators said they discovered that Surety Security was owned and controlled by Taylor himself, and that proceeds from his crime had funded a lavish lifestyle, including a £27,400 brand new Mitsubishi L200.
According to the NHSCFA, Taylor was suspended from his position as a result of the investigation, but resigned before disciplinary proceedings could start.
Sue Frith, interim chief executive of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, said: “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.
“Andrew Taylor exploited his position at Guys 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.”
If you suspect that anyone is committing fraud or another economic crime against the NHS, call the 24-hour, confidential reporting line 0800 028 40 60 or visit: www.cfa.nhs.uk