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Former Royal Surrey IT Director Changes Plea to Guilty Over Corrupt Payments

Published on: 22 Nov, 2016
Updated on: 22 Nov, 2016

Guildford Crown Court 470

A former senior member of staff at Royal Surrey County NHS Foundation Trust and a supplier IT company director have both pleaded guilty to corruption in relation to the awarding of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) contract for software to record data in the hospital’s Accident & Emergency Department.

Peter Lewis, 57, of Windlesham, Surrey, yesterday (November 21) pleaded guilty to receiving payments from Richard Moxon, 41, of Wybunbury in Cheshire in return for awarding him an ICT contract worth £950,000 in the first year.

Lewis had pleaded not guilty at a Guildford Crown Court hearing in March this year, despite a guilty plea from Moxon.

An investigation revealed that each month Moxon would submit multiple invoices from different companies he controlled. The invoices were all at, or just below, £15,000 (the value that Lewis was able to sign off without oversight).

In return for the arrangement, Moxon paid Lewis nine payments totalling £73,770, and made a further payment of £7,200 to a stables to whom Lewis owed money. All the payments were made between January and December 2011.

The fraud came to light in December 2011 when the trust conducted a disciplinary investigation into his relationship with another supplier. The trust immediately passed the case to Surrey Police.

Subsequent work found that 40% of the ICT product supplied by Moxon did not meet the needs of the  hospital trust. They were able to recover some of the lost money by incorporating Moxon’s software into a new system in August 2012, but the trust still declared losses in its financial year of 2011-12 of £433,000 in respect of the project. The direct fraud against the hospital was nearly £81,000.

Detective Sergeant Chris Rambour, of the Surrey and Sussex Economic Crime Unit, said: “Peter Lewis chose to breach the trust placed in him by the NHS and to feather his own nest.

“It was only through the diligence of the trust that his corruption came to light. I am proud of the painstaking forensic accounting our officers carried out in order to bring this case to court, and grateful to the Royal Surrey for their support in our work.”

Alf Turner RSCH

Alf Turner RSCH

Alf Turner, Deputy Chief Executive, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Royal Surrey expects its staff to act with honesty and integrity at all times and will fully investigate any suspicions of wrong-doing.

“Mr Lewis broke these fundamentals and we are pleased that, although it has taken a long time, justice will be served. We would like to thank the police for their ongoing support in pursuing this matter to its positive resolution and we await the sentencing outcome.”

Peter Lewis pleaded guilty to the following charge: Between the January 1 2011 and the December 31 2011 Peter Raymond Barry Lewis corruptly received payments of money as an inducement for doing an act in relation to his principal’s affairs or business.

Richard Moxon pleaded guilty to the charge: Between the 1st January 2011 and the 31st December 2011 Richard Norman Moxon corruptly gave payments of money as an inducement for doing an act in relation to the affairs or business of the principal of the person paid.

The two men will be sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on Friday, January 6 2017.

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