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October 16, 2018

NHS managers ‘used names of U2 members in £1.4m fraud’

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The court heard one of the alleged fraudsters was a U2 fan

Three men defrauded the NHS of £1.4m by awarding contracts to fake people in the names of U2 band members, a court has heard.

Mark Evill, 47, and Robert Howells, 65, of Chepstow, and Michael Cope, 42, of Merthyr Tydfil, all deny fraud.

The three were employed as managers with Powys Teaching Health Board.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard they awarded contracts worth more than £700,000 for work at hospitals between February 2014 and August 2015.

Mr Evill also denies perverting the course of justice and three counts of transferring criminal property.

Jurors were told the project manager signed off work to his own company George Morgan Ltd – named after his dog – under the names Paul Hewson and David Evans, the real names of U2 singer Bono and guitarist The Edge.

The court heard he wrote emails to himself and made up fake quotes from real companies to cover his fraud.

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Bronllys Hospital has one 15-bed general ward, but no A&E department

He is alleged to have spent the money on lavish holidays in Dubai, houses in Wales and expensive cars.

Prosecuting, Christopher Rees, said: “Mr Evill set up George Morgan Ltd to divert dishonest health board contracts to himself.

“He created more than one fictitious character, Paul Hewson and David Evans, to correspond with members of health board.

“They are the real names of Bono and the Edge from U2, a band he listens to, used to further his fraud. Its a mark of the blatant and provocative dishonesty.”

Some of the work at the children’s wing of Brecon Memorial Hospital, Bronllys Hospital and Welshpool Hospital was not carried out.

The court heard a chartered surveyor raised concerns of “major deficiencies” in the completed work and concluded the cost to rectify the work would cost £1.4 million.

The trial continues.

Source BBC News

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