A convicted fraudster who conned the local NHS out of almost £2.2million, has had his ill-gotten gains confiscated by the courts.
Trevor Barry Cosson, 38, of Tenterden Rise, Hastings, was jailed for five years and four months last summer after admitting defrauding the Hastings and Rother Primary Care Trust (PCT) and East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT.
Last Friday (March 27), at Blackfriars Crown Court in London, Judge Blacksell confiscated £2,161,758.45 from Cosson, which must be paid in compensation to the NHS.
NHS Protect pursued these assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
It is the largest amount NHS Protect has ever recovered under the POCA.
Cosson, the former head of financial accounting at the Trusts, was prosecuting following an NHS Protect fraud investigation.
Last summer Cosson pleaded guilty to offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
He used the stolen money to build a portfolio of eleven properties in East Sussex and London, which he will now have to sell.
Cosson’s crimes first came to light when the primary care trusts he had previously worked for were being disbanded and the newly-formed Sussex and Surrey Commissioning Support Unit carried out an audit.
NHS Protect investigators found that Cosson had manipulated the internal payments systems of both of the PCTs he worked for.
Standing orders were set up in the name of regular suppliers but the payments were actually credited to bank accounts he controlled.
Between 2008 and 2011 Cosson authorised £810,000 worth of standing order payments, and £1.4m worth of CHAPS payments.
Richard Hampton, head of external engagement and services, NHS Protect, said: “Today is a good day for taxpayers and NHS patients.
“NHS Protect has recovered over two million pounds for patient care that was stolen by Trevor Cosson, a senior NHS finance manager. Cosson is already in jail serving a long prison term after NHS Protect’s successful fraud and money-laundering investigation last year.
“Cosson’s staggering dishonesty and greed has really let down the vast majority of NHS workers - most of whom do hard, honest work for a lot less money than he was paid.
“Leading the national fight against crime in the health service, NHS Protect plays a vital role in the NHS. We are unique in having the expertise not only to investigate fraud but also to mount financial investigations under the Proceeds of Crime Act to claw back money that has been defrauded from the NHS.”