A convicted fraudster who held top jobs in the NHS after inventing qualifications has admitted trying to hoodwink the healthcare system again.
Conrad de Souza, from Fulham , admitted to six out of nine fraud charges put to him on the first day of his trial at Croydon Crown Court on Monday (December 5).
He had previously been jailed for more than two years and told to repay the NHS £270,000 after falsely claiming he was a qualified doctor.
This enabled him to work in well-paid roles in clinical strategy for Lewisham Primary Care Trust (PCT) between from 2001 and 2010, receiving more than £329,000 of NHS money in fraudulently obtained earnings.
Now the 57-year-old from Brompton Park Crescent will have to wait until January 12 to find out if he is being sent back to prison, when he reappears for sentencing.
The same NHS Protect fraud investigation team which brought de Souza to book the first time around discovered the defendant had made false representations while applying for a string of senior positions following his release from prison, which would have seen him regain “considerable power, responsibility and financial reward” within the NHS.
He admitted the following charges:
- On September 24 2013 he dishonestly made false representations to the Office for Public Management (OPM) for the post of fellow in health, about his employment and qualifications
- On October 31 2013 he dishonestly made false representations to Slough Borough Council for the post of head of service, Care Commissioning Group, about his previous convictions, employment and qualifications
- On February 6 2014 he dishonestly made false representations to Windsor, Ascot & Maidenhead Clinical Commissioning Group and to C4H Resourcing for the post of interim director of development commissioning about his previous employment and qualifications
- Between June 6 to June 12 2014 he dishonestly made false representations to Surrey Health Clinical Commissioning Group and to C4H Resourcing for the post of transformation programme manager about his previous convictions, employment and qualifications
- On June 27 2014 he dishonestly made false representations to the OPM for the post of consultant in health about his employment and qualifications
- Between August 12 2013 and May 26 2014 he dishonestly made eight representations to the recruitment agency Dearden Interim about his qualifications and previous convictions
The three other charges will remain on file.
NHS Protect Anti-Fraud specialist, Dave Horsley, said: “It seems that a 27-month custodial sentence in 2011, plus being ordered to repay the NHS £270,000 in 2012, was not a sufficient deterrent last time.
"I am hoping he has finally learned his lesson and starts being honest with any prospective employers.”
Richard Rippin, head of operations for NHS Protect, said: “We will have to reserve some of our comments until after sentencing.
“What is obvious is that de Souza sees himself as suitable for top health jobs even if nobody else does.
"Had he succeeded in his latest, deceitful job hunt, de Souza would have regained considerable power, responsibility and financial reward – a frightening prospect.”
When applying for work with Lewisham PCT de Souza knew that it was an essential requirement in these roles to have a degree and clinical specialism, despite having neither.
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