Gambling doctor who stole death certificate fees and defrauded NHS is sentenced
£67,000 offences revealed thanks to tipoff to NHS Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line and investigation by NHS Counter Fraud Service (Wales)
Following an investigation by NHS Counter Fraud Service (Wales), a doctor who abused his position to defraud both the NHS and fellow medics was sentenced yesterday at Cardiff Crown Court (09 March 2021) to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Dr Aled Meirion Jones (age 39, of Cardiff) earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of Fraud by Abuse of Position (contrary to Section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006). He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work within 12 months. A mitigating factor in sentencing was his gambling addiction, which was designated as a medical condition.
The Specialist Registrar works for Cardiff & Vale University Health Board. He was reported via the NHS Counter Fraud Authority’s Fraud & Corruption Reporting Line.
Dr Jones diverted cheques to his own bank account that had been legitimately earned by other doctors for their work to certify the cause of death before a person’s body is released for cremation (at that time, certifying doctors would receive a standard fee of £82 on each occasion).
These handwritten cheques from a Cardiff funeral home, each made out to the appropriate doctor, were sent to the Bereavement Office at University Hospital Wales (UHW) for collection by the individuals.
It came to light that the original payee’s details on 27 of these cheques for £82.00 had been altered to “A JONES”, and were then deposited into a bank account he controlled. In March 2019, Dr Jones was arrested at his workplace, Cardiff & University Health Board, with the assistance of South Wales Police.
Following his arrest, Dr Jones was interviewed under caution by specialist investigators for NHS CFS (Wales). He made full admissions to the theft of the cheques but denied any other wrongdoing. However, further enquiries revealed that between 2017 and 2019, Jones had stolen and altered numerous cheques worth £33,235.40; and submitted false claims for exaggerated hours and Locum shifts he did not work to a number of health boards in South Wales, totalling £34,184.86.
Cheryl Hill, Deputy Head of NHS Counter Fraud Service (Wales), said:
"The NHS Counter Fraud Service (Wales) is very pleased to have put a stop to the criminal activities of Dr Aled Meirion Jones, who may well have continued to defraud the NHS and steal from his colleagues for years to come. Precious NHS funds are sorely needed for their intended purpose, the care of patients. Dr Jones has been referred to the General Medical Council.”
Confiscation proceedings have commenced, with a Mention Hearing scheduled for 11th May 2021.
If you or someone you know is affected by gambling, help can be accessed through the NHS. Please click the following link for more details: Help for problem gambling - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
If you suspect that anyone is committing fraud or another economic crime against the NHS, tell NHSCFA about it – you can visit our main website to report online: www.cfa.nhs.uk or telephone our 24-hour reporting line 0800 028 40 60.
“NHS fraud. Spot it, report it, together we stop it”
For more information contact the NHSCFA press office on 07747 461860
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