NHS bosses jailed for 14 years for defrauding health board of £700,000 using U2 pseudonyms

Top image: Tom Martin via Wales News Service

Three managers of an NHS health board’s estates department were jailed over the weekend for defrauding the NHS of over £700,000.

Mark Evill, 42, received a jail sentence of seven years at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, and was banned for the same number of years from serving as a director. Robert Howells, 65, and Michael Cope, 43, received four and three year jail sentences respectively.

Evill worked for Powys Teaching Health Board from February 2014 to May 2015 and awarded contracts to a company he owned, George Morgan Ltd, rather than putting them out for tender.

The company was paid nearly £708,000 by the health board as Evill used fakes names and emails pretending to be employees of the company, who signed of contracts.

Evill admitted that the fake names, Paul Hewson and David Evans, were inspired by the real names of U2’s Bono and The Edge.

Howells held funds for a number of the contracts handed to George Morgan Ltd. The company paid him £1,000 and paid towards a new car.

Cope was paid £500 by Evill for his role in helping pass work to the company.

The scam came to light after Evill left his position at the board and an independent, chartered surveyor was commissioned to assess value for money. The resulting report found deficiencies and remedial work in the works carried out by George Morgan Ltd, with costs reaching an estimated £1.4m.

Juliette Simms, of the CPS, said: “Mark Evill took hundreds of thousands of pounds from this public body out of his own greed, using his colleagues to ensure his business received lucrative contracts for work.

“Evill used the money he made in the fraud to buy land and properties in Wales, taking two luxury holidays to Dubai, buying a Chanel watch, a £5,000 Breitling watch and numerous cars including a Land Rover and an Audi.

“Other defendants originally claimed they did not know about Evill’s involvement with the company but the CPS proved Howells was complicit in the fraud and Evill had bought him a Ford Focus worth almost £11,000 for his efforts.”

NHE has reached out to Powys Teaching Health Board for comment.


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