|Lisa Green & Alan Hodge|
An NHS Trust manager responsible for kidney dialysis equipment at three hospital’s has been jailed for four years for awarding his cronies lucrative contracts during a £250,000 fraud.
Renal technologist Alan Hodge, 53, received “kick-backs” for paying his pals NHS money in return for either non-existent or exorbitant work.
Nicknamed 'Dodgy Hodgey' he was employed by Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs services from Epsom Hospital; St. Helier Hospital and Sutton Hospital.
Hodge, of Aulton Way, Sutton was convicted of one count of defrauding the Trust between November 1, 2007 and October 9, 2013.
Company director Pierre Allen, 55, of Canon Farm Cottages, Canons Lane, Burgh Heath, Tadworth - boss of Main Contractors - received three years.
Plumber Stephen Thompson, 47, of Warnham Road, Furnace Green, Crawley received two years.
They were found guilty by a jury of the same count.
Hodge’s partner, Lisa Green, 49, laundered some of the money and was convicted of converting criminal property between January 1, 2011 and October 9, 2013.
She was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to perform 100 hours community service work.
Phillip Jones, 50, was the only defendant to plead guilty and received 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 250 hours community service for the fraud.
Prosecutor Mr. Stephen Hopper said Main Contractors was specifically set-up to receive money defrauded from the Trust and financed £15,000 worth of matchday trips to Stamford Bridge for Chelsea FC fans Hodge and Allen.
NHS money was also blown on a Butlins holiday, golf days and £1,200 worth of flights to Geneva for a Chelsea FC Champions League match.
“This case involves a fraud against the Trust,” he explained. “Hodge is the central figure, responsible for kidney dialysis equipment at three hospitals and patients’ homes.
“He engaged contractors to install and maintain equipment and was authorised by the NHS to make payments.”
The fraud was exposed when Hodge was suspended over an unrelated matter on October 8, 2013 and external payments immediately plunged by 50%, said Mr. Hopper.
“An investigation revealed a large number of invoices had been paid for work either not done at all or for prices that were excessive.
“Hodge was exploiting, abusing his position to employ friends of his who overcharged or had not done the work at all.
“Hodge profited from kick-backs from those contracts.”
Mains Contractors received £400,00 and SJ Thompson Plumbing received £130,000, claimed the prosecution when opening the case to the jury.
A third company, TWS Southern, run Jones, of Bullbeggars Lane, Godstone received £43,000.
Following the trial, Judge Nicholas Ainley estimated the fraud to amount to approximately a quarter of a million pounds.
“Green was laundering some of the money generated in the fraud,” explained Mr. Hopper.
“She took payments into her Lloyds account from Main Contractors, SJ Thompson Plumbing and TWS. Her account was a buffer account.”
Two months after opening a bank account in February, 2010 Main Contractors began receiving payments authorised by Hodge.
“This company was set up with the prime purpose of receiving money from the NHS Trust.
“Allen was a figurehead, a front and the pair previously had a dialysis business for visiting tourists and had a property company.
“Some of the NHS money was used to pay for property developments.
“They were two men cooking up a scam to divert money from the NHS.”
Judge Ainley said of Hodge today: “He was simply giving his friends these contracts so that the contracts could be dishonestly manipulated.
“It seems to me at the very heart of this fraud is Alan Hodge. It could not have occurred without him.”