NHS Employees Found Guilty of Multi-Million Fraud

Four NHS employees have been found guilty of defrauding the health service of more than £3 million.

The quartet of individuals will be sentenced next year having been found guilty at Leeds Crown Court.

Four other defendants were cleared of charges of conspiracy to defraud.

The convicted individuals had become involved in a plot against Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and NHS England.

Huw Grove, from Bristol, and Terence Dixon, from Monmouth, were found guilty at court.

Neil Wood had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud at an earlier hearing and Lisa Wood pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.

Jaqualine Grove, from Bristol, Daniel Benton, from Leeds, and Lisa and Wayne Hill, from Colchester, were acquitted of all charges.

The trial, which took place over several weeks, found that Neil Wood, 41, who was employed by the Leeds and York NHS Trust, had outsourced the vast majority of work to another defendant Huw Grove’s company, The Learning Grove.

In total, The Learning Grove was paid £3 million pounds worth of NHS money.

Meanwhile, around half of the money paid into this company was then transferred to another firm, whose sole director was Wood’s wife Lisa.

Emails exchanged between Wood and Grove detail how the profits would be split, and indeed what they intended to do with the money once it had been embezzled.

Leeds Crown Court heard evidence indicating that when Grove had initially moved to NHS England that he worked with outside companies, and told them not to deal with the NHS directly, instead directing them to work with The Learning Grove.

This company was able to negotiate discounts, with costs later inflated when invoices were submitted to the NHS.

Commenting on the case, Simon Higginbotham, a specialist fraud lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service, stated that the level of fraud was bewildering.

“Neil Wood used his position to syphon off millions of pounds from the NHS for his own benefit. The fraud is staggering – Wood outsourced services which could have been undertaken in-house so that his wife, friends and contacts received vast sums of money they were not entitled to. However, of the money his friends received, Neil Wood more often than not received a 50% cut. In total, over £3m was fraudulently spent in this way, and Neil Wood received over half of that.”

The defendants will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on 8th January.


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