Former NHS Executive and chartered accountant jailed over £1.5m fraud
Stephen Day, a former NHS executive and chartered accountant, was handed a 11 year and five month sentence from Leeds Crown Court on Thursday 15 April 2021, after pleading guilty to 12 counts of fraud offences and theft. Day has also been handed a nine-year director disqualification.
The investigation conducted by Greater Manchester Police (GMP), found that Day had claimed to be a financial turnaround consultant and accountant for more than 20 companies and would advise businesses on their finances.
While in a position of trust Day would take over financial control of their bank accounts where large sums of money would then go missing. This money was paid into Day’s own company accounts instead of suppliers. He then used false narratives to explain how they got there, including using fake financial accounts to provide to directors at annual general meetings (AGMs). Overall, £1,382,244m was taken.
GMP’s specialist fraud investigation team became aware of the fraudulent activity between August 2011 and September 2014 after reports were passed to the force’s economic crime unit when several companies raised concerns about money disappearing under Day’s management. Detective sergeant Stuart Donohue, who led the investigation, said: ‘This has been the most painstaking investigation of my career to date. Around 160 evidence boxes, recovered from his estate and office, which are full to the brim with folders, have been scrupulously examined by the team.’
While carrying out enquiries, officers learned that Day had also become a financial director for numerous NHS Trusts receiving a full salary and failed to disclose this to his employers. Richard Rippin, head of operations at the NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA), said: ‘Stephen Day carried out a calculated fraud against the NHS. Any money lost to fraud affects the amount of resources the NHS has available for front line care. The money stolen by Day would have been enough to fund the annual salaries of three nurses.’ He also took advantage of those close to him, Day struck up relationships with two different men and a woman and claimed to be a widow. Over the course of several months in 2014 while under investigation, Day convinced her, under false pretences, to pay for meals and transfer him nearly £5,000.
Detectives discovered that Day used the money he stole to purchase several properties in Scotland and began refurbishing a 45-acre property that had its own salmon fishing area on the River Annan, took a holiday to Dubai, and is believed to have refurbished another property in South Africa in order to let out as a holiday rental. Detective Donohue added: ‘This has been the most painstaking investigation of my career to date.’
‘Day was a career criminal. He built his life on cheating and stealing. He was very meticulous in what he did and would often move money to and from so many accounts that it was difficult to distinguish the route it had taken. Every step of the way he has lied and tried to find any way to avoid going to prison. He has created numerous deliberate delays to the prosecution, which the Police and CPS have tirelessly dealt with, and has been unwilling to fully accept his actions. But, as with all crimes, it has caught up with him today.’