11 Year sentence for fraud and bribery against the NHS

Yesterday at St Albans Crown Court, Hasan Abusheikha, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for Theft, Fraud and Bribery Acts offences against the NHS

Published: 25 May 2023

Image of St Albans Crown Court

Hasan Abusheikha, (47) formerly a Theatre Manager at St Albans City Hospital Trust was sentenced having been found guilty of six offences under the Acts in March 2023.

Judge Lana wood said on his sentencing, “The earning of commission was your primary objective when your primary concern should have been to act in the best interests of the trust. You acted in breach of the trust’s expectations of impartiality.”

Elmo Emanuel, (74) who was Chief Executive Officer of Implants International and Xtremity Solutions Ltd (both of which were companies supplying medical equipment to the Hospital) was sentenced to 28 months in prison having been found guilty of one charge of bribing Abusheikha, also in March 2023.

A second Trust supplier, Jawid Khan, (51) a Director of TSI Med Ltd had pleaded guilty to one charge of bribing Abusheikha in March 2022 and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work.

The investigation was undertaken by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, with the prosecution led by the Crown Prosecution Service, with the total value of all offences being more than £600,000.

During the trial the Court heard that Abusheikha was in a position of responsibility within the NHS, where he was able to procure medical items on behalf of the trust. As part of his role, he was required to make purchase order requests for items required for surgical procedures carried out within the hospital. The investigation undertaken by the NHS CFA was able to prove that Abusheikha was in a relationship with two Trust suppliers in which he accepted bribes to ensure that the Trust procured medical items including implants from the companies concerned. Abusheikha was also convicted of receiving payments from two further suppliers to the trust. Abusheikha ordered goods from these companies that he himself had supplied to them. In return, Abusheikha received at least two-thirds of the value of the goods invoiced.

During the investigation Abusheikha’s house was searched, and many orthopaedic implantable devices, surgical instruments, and medical equipment with a value in excess of £65K was recovered. The investigation was able to prove that these had been stolen from the Trust.

The NHSCFA and CPS will be leading a process under the Proceeds of Crime Act aiming to recover any funds fraudulently obtained back to the NHS.

NHS CFA Investigators Mark Howard and Gemma Quembv were both commended by the judge for their work throughout the investigation and the trial.

Following the sentencing NHS CFA Senior Fraud Investigator Mark Howard said, “The sentences handed out today reflect the nature of the offences committed. Hasan Abusheikha abused his position at the trust for 5 years. He betrayed the trust put in him by the hospital and organised a litany of dishonest schemes for his own benefit. He co-opted Elmo Emmanuel and Jawid Khan to participate in two of these schemes and wasted valuable NHS resources as a result.”

Pamela Jain, Specialist Prosecutor for the CPS, said: “Bribery and corruption of this kind have no place in our society, especially in the hard-pressed NHS where having the right equipment to carry out safe procedures is essential.

“These three men were more motivated by their own greed and dishonesty, than supporting the NHS with its vital work. In conjunction with the investigation team of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, we are pleased to have brought them to justice. We will now pursue confiscation proceedings against them to recover their criminal proceeds.”

Richard Rippin, Head of Operations of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, said, “We are delighted with the sentences handed out today. We hope that it sends a clear message to criminals that there is a robust investigative response deployed across the NHS, at both a local and national level, who are there to combat fraud, bribery and corruption and protect public money intended for patient care. We will now continue our work to recover the money stolen and return it directly to NHS funds.”

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