Sometimes crime takes a while to solve. Other times it takes less time to solve but more time to bring them to justice because of the system. This case, Operation Tarlac, took police eight years to finish bringing to trial but UK police got there with all but one.
This crime took place in England, United Kingdom but it’s implications spread far and wide into Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East. Our National Health System seems easy prey for these criminals.
This investigation, started in September 2011, revealed that a ‘criminal group’ defrauded millions from various public bodies including a number of NHS Trusts, councils and housing associations around the UK. The fraudsters employed forged letters, emails and faxes to pretend to be legitimate firms and then diverted payments to themselves.
I’d love to find out which councils and housing associations but am unable. I have tried to piece together the story from bits and pieces in the news. Some of the criminals appear to have gotten away completely and others not so. However, I’ve been unable to find out which of these were NHS staff, doctors, admin, council workers or otherwise.
Mr Bayo Awonorin, 44, admitted two charges of conspiring with others to defraud public institutions and to convert criminal property. Leicester Crown Court heard he played a leading role in the operation. He was originally arrested in 2012 but fled the country. He was extradited from Maryland in United States in September and jailed last year for this crime. BBC News.
It turns out that the money they stole should have been used to build a mental health care unit at Lincoln’s St George’s Hospital. It was easily lost to this diversion fraud when NHS Trust staff failed to check the new bank details supplied to them. I’m not sure of what happened at the Council and the Housing Associations as the papers didn’t report.
Another charged, was criminal fat cat, Mr Walter Wagbatsoma. This man is no small criminal. He is a famous businessman. Worth millions and millions and a pretty smooth character. However, he also isn’t the honourable business man his followers would have you believe, regardless of his clothes taste.
Walter Wagbatsoma was also convicted in Nigeria for his involvement in the multi-billion naira (their money) fuel subsidy fraud. He committed this crime when President Goodluck Jonathan was in office. For this, he was sentenced to ten years in Nigeria, in his absence (we have him in UK jail after a warrant caught him in Germany). In Lagos, he reached hero status and was practically worshipped… his supporters say he may have been tricked. Regardless, he was convicted of NHS Fraud and given 40 MONTHS.
His team managed to bring eighteen people to book for this crime, fifteen who appeared to have been charged and sentenced. A story from the local paper in 2015 shows how the judge gave them bail. Why do Judges do this when they had them there? This could be possibly the reason it took so long for the police to find them again and bring to justice.
I’m naming and shaming. this has already been done in the national press, but I’m adding the sentences they were given, if any found. It took some time to find this information as many of the media outlets mis-spelt names, left out locations and then the story itself took years so the news is spread over that time.
Oluwatoyin Allison, 48, of Voysey Square, Bow, London(2011) AT LARGE given 7 YEARS
Stephen Tyndale, 45, of Albany Road, Southwark, London(2011) given TEN YEARS
James Eman, 33, of Lineholt Close, Redditch, Worcs(2011) – cannot find sentence.
Ali Akbar, 31, of Lineholt Close, Redditch(2011) – cannot find sentence.
Abdul Ghaffar, 66, of Lineholt Close, Redditch(2011) given 22WEEKS
Abdul Nadeem, 36, of Lineholt Close, Redditch, Worcestershire(2011) given 67 MONTHS
Mohammed Nadeem, 33, of Lineholt Close, Redditch Worcestershire(2011) given 67 MONTHS
Arif Habib, 54, of Bearsden, Whitehill Road, Glasgow(2011) and Dubai given 40 MONTHS
Monica Thomson, 38, of Ivy Way, Airdrie, Scotland (2011)- not sentenced at the time. However, her face was plastered on every newspaper…not sure why she wouldn’t be sentenced as she was found guilty.
Imtiaz Khoda, 42, of Dubai and Dallas Road, Lancaster(2011) given 54 MONTHS
Kalpesh Patel, 43, from Dubai (2011)- no news of sentencing, or English address.
Tariq Khan, 33, of Dubai and Meadway, Ilford (2011), London given 8 MONTHS and order to repay £20,000 to Lincolnshire NHS Trust.
Zahid Muhammed, 46, of Tinto Road, Glasgow (2011) given 21 MONTHS
Shazia Nisa, 33, “from the West Midlands”, (no idea why she shouldn’t have an address) – I don’t think this woman was sentenced or found guilty. Of the two women in this so called ‘gang’ this one seems the more cunning…no face in the newspapers and no address given.
Yagnesh Patel, 44, of Rookery Road, Staines-upon-Thames (2011) given 15 MONTHS
Oghogho Ehanire, 41, of Brackenbury Road, Preston (father of seven) suspended sentence of 12 MONTHS. Probably lenient because he pulled the old ‘wife couldn’t cope without me’ line – an assumption as the paper mentions the children…this man got off scot free…
They got mainly convicted of diverting funds, or fraud. The money was legitimate to begin, SUPPOSED TO BE FOR THE MOST NEEDY, then these crooks diverted the funds to other ventures or rather their own bank accounts. Some got done for the lesser crime of money laundering, moving the money after the fact.
One NHS Trust got a small proportion of it’s money back but only £216,000. They lost millions.
Bravo to the police…let’s make sure they can carry on doing their jobs and let’s hear no more talk of defunding a very necessary organisation! They need funding and proper working conditions which are suitable for what they do. I’ve seen some of the buildings they work out of…come on, give them some pride in their work place.
Thanks for reading, all comments welcome, if only to tell me of spelling mistakes! I have no agenda – I write about what I like to.
Links for reference below to back up anything I’ve claimed.
Another take is how awfully administered the NHS Trusts are…I’m sure this will be further investigated. Also the links with Forex and how this could happen.