A Croydon man who kept almost £25,000 that was wrongfully paid to him by an NHS cancer trust has been jailed for 12 months.
Ronel Kiyanga, 20 of Shepherds Way, South Croydon, was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court last week after being found guilty of two counts of retaining a wrongful credit.
The alarm was raised by Christie NHS Trust in Manchester in 2013 when they contacted police after being concerned about overpayments to a supplier.
The trust, one of the largest cancer treatment centres in Europe, was emailed by someone claiming to be from a supplier’s finance department who requested that future payments should be made into a new account.
The fraudulent new account received two payments from Christie NHS Trust in October 2012, racking up misappropriated funds of more than £24,500.
Detective Constable Rob Wevill, from Croydon CID, who investigated the case said: “In this case it was patently obvious that Kiyanga was not the rightful or intended recipient and he is now facing a custodial sentence for his dishonesty.”
The con was uncovered when the genuine supplier contacted the trust to follow up on the unpaid invoices and confirmed they had not changed any banking details, the NHS fraud team investigated and then contacted police.
Officers linked the fraudulent account to Kiyanga and he was arrested in May 2013 at his Croydon home, where police found bank statements relating to the account.
Kiyanga claimed he thought the money had come from a compensation payout from an accident claim but police found no evidence to support this.
The account also showed that six large payments and withdrawals had been made in October 2012 totalling around £22,000.
DC Wevill said: “Although we were never able to prove Kiyanga had knowledge of, or was involved in getting the NHS Trust to pay the money into his account, anyone receiving unexpected payments for this amount of money should have reported it to the bank or police.
“Kiyanga, on the other hand, decided to go out almost immediately and spend the money, buying foreign currency and high value tech goods worth over £20k.”
He also urged anyone who mistakenly receives money into their account to report it to their bank immediately, however large or small the sum.
Officers have applied for a confiscation hearing at Croydon Crown Court to recover the money which will take place on 12 June.