Former NHS finance chief plundered £1.4m: Accountant is jailed for 11 years after judge brands him dishonest ‘on an industrial scale’
- Chartered accountant Stephen Day has been jailed for 11 years and five months
- The 53-year-old was told by judge he was guilty of ‘industrial scale’ dishonesty
- Committed offences while professing to be a ‘financial turnaround consultant’
- Targeted firms providing home visits to vulnerable adults and services to NHS
A former NHS management consultant earning £2,000 a day was a serial fraudster who siphoned nearly £1.4 million from a string of companies and the health service.
Chartered accountant Stephen Day has been jailed for 11 years and five months after admitting 12 counts of fraud. A judge told him he was guilty of ‘industrial-scale dishonesty’.
The 53-year-old, who has also been banned from being a company director for nine years, committed the offences while professing to be a ‘financial turnaround consultant’.
The companies he targeted included some providing home visits to vulnerable adults and services to the NHS.
Stephen Day, 53, was jailed for 11 years and five months after admitting 12 counts of fraud
One of one of several properties purchased by Stephen Day, an account who committed “industrial scale dishonesty” to fund and extravagant lifestyle. Police investigators and the NHS Counter Fraud Authority found that Day bought several properties in Scotland and took a holiday in Dubai.
Others were a property management company and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Day, who worked in Manchester, carried out the offences between August 2011 and September 2014.
While in a position of trust and power within the businesses, he would take over financial control of their bank accounts, and large sums would go missing.
The cash was being paid into Day’s own company accounts instead of suppliers, but he duped directors with a fake paper trail claiming the money was being used legitimately.
Several companies raised concerns about money disappearing, and complaints were made to Greater Manchester Police.
At the same time as advising the private businesses, Day was working as a consultant financial director for numerous NHS trusts, being paid up to £2,000 a day.
He drew his NHS salary while making false excuses for being unable to work, including illness, cancer and car crashes and even the death of his father, who had actually died nine years earlier, the court heard. It cost the NHS £88,000 in lost wages.
Despite being gay and in relationships with two men, Day also struck up a romantic connection with a woman – and stole nearly £5,000 from her.
Police investigators and the NHS Counter Fraud Authority found that Day bought several properties in Scotland and took a holiday in Dubai.
He was also refurbishing two properties – a 45-acre estate in Scotland which had its own salmon fishing area on the River Annan, and one in South Africa.
Sentencing him at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Simon Batiste said: ‘These offences were carefully planned, highly sophisticated and relied on people trusting you as an accountant.
‘In other cases you have falsely claimed to have cancer, have claimed to be widowed when not in fact married and claimed relatives including your mother and father had recently died when they had either been dead for many years or were alive at the time.
‘In short, there was no boundary of dishonesty that you were not prepared to cross. This was industrial-scale dishonesty purely to fulfil your own greed.’
Judge Batiste said the ‘enormous’ consequences included ‘businesses losing viability and being wound up, people losing their jobs, reputational damage and people being unable to sell their homes’.
He told Day, of Blairgowrie, Scotland, but who used to live in a £550,000 detached house in Aberford, West Yorkshire: ‘You have caused misery, hardship and anxiety to many.’
The court heard the combined value of all 12 frauds was £1.38 million.
Day was reported to police when he refused to hand over payroll information to a company unless it provided £50,000 that he said he was owed for ‘unpaid debts’.
Richard Rippin, head of operations at the NHS Counter Fraud Agency, said the value of lost NHS wages fraudulently gained by Day ‘would have been enough to fund the annual salaries of three nurses’.
Judge Batiste also attacked Day’s behaviour ahead of the court case, including fixing a medical operation for the day he had been due to be sentenced.
A proceeds of crime hearing is due to take place.
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