AN NHS worker who played an integral role in a fraud that saw more than half a million pounds drained from a world-leading cancer hospital has been jailed for four years.
Stacey Tipler exploited her job in the accounts department at the Royal Marsden NHS Trust to alter payment details in a scam that resulted in just over £642,000 meant for cancer drugs being diverted from the London clinic and spent in part on shopping sprees and mortgage payments.
For several months after December 2011, the 32-year-old substituted account numbers of pharmaceutical firms who were due payment with the details of men recruited by her partner and the ringleader of the plot, Scott Chaplin. He was jailed for five and a half years.
Passing sentence at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, Judge Anthony Leonard QC said Chaplin was the “main instigator” but Tipler was “invaluable” to the scam, which he said could had been “catastrophic” for the hospital’s patients.
He told her: “It could only have been you who could have come up with the sophisticated and ingenious methods to ensure that your fraud went undetected.
“I am satisfied that it was not you who had the idea to defraud the hospital. It is my judgment that on your own this fraud would not have been committed.
“That said once the idea was there... the position of trust you held made you invaluable in achieving the fraud.
“The skill which you showed in trying to ensure the fraud would go undiscovered was very great and very dishonest.”
The money was funnelled to the group of associates and mostly withdrawn as cash as part of a money laundering operation before the lion’s share was passed back to Chaplin.
The couple used it to meet their bills and mortgage payments. They are also understood to have spent several thousand pounds on a deposit for a venue for their proposed wedding, although it did not took place.
Those receiving the siphoned off money used some to go on shopping sprees at luxury designers Gucci and Louis Vuitton. One spent £200 at the London Parachute School.