St Albans hospital theatre manager jailed for 11 years over £600,000 NHS fraud

Hasan Abusheikha, 47, was formerly a theatre manager at the St Albans City Hospital Trust. Credit: Google

A former hospital manager has been jailed for 11 years for his part in a "sophisticated" fraud which cost the NHS more than £600,000.

Hasan Abusheikha, 47, formerly a theatre manager at St Albans City Hospital Trust, took bribes, stole implants and sold equipment that had been donated to the West Herts NHS trust, the court heard.

When fraud investigators searched his home they found a large number of orthopaedic implantable devices, surgical instruments and medical equipment which had been stolen from the trust.

He was told by Judge Lana Wood: “The earning of commission was your primary object.

“Your primary concern should have been the best interests of the trust. You acted in breach of your duties.”Abusheikha, of Church Street, Hemel Hempstead, was found guilty after a trial of theft, fraud and bribery.

The trial heard that Abusheikha's job involved buying medical equipment on behalf of the trust.

The NHS Counter Fraud Authority discovered he had accepted bribes from two suppliers to buy their products for the trust.

Abusheikha was also convicted of receiving payments from two other suppliers to the trust.

Co-defendant Elmo Emanuel, 74, the chief executive of Implants International and Xtremity Solutions, was convicted of bribing Mr Abusheikha. He was jailed for 28 months.

Emanuel, of County Durham, ran the companies which supplied medical equipment to the hospital.

Prosecutor James Brown said: “The offence was of a sophisticated nature and involved significant planning.“He was in a position of procurement. It was payment for access. The money had a purpose to buy some influence."

David Burgess, mitigatig for Abusheika, said: “For the majority of the 10-plus years he worked for trust he was one of most loyal and devoted employees.

"He had a rosy future - all of that and his reputation and good character is lost.”

He said his marriage was over and his health had deteriorated.

Another trust supplier, Jawid Khan, 51, of Hemel Hempstead and a director of TSI Med Ltd pleaded guilty to bribing Abusheikha.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for 18 months.

Fraud investigator Mark Howard said: "Hasan Abusheikha abused his position at the trust for five years.

"He betrayed the trust put in him by the hospital and organised a litany of dishonest schemes for his own benefit. 

"He co-opted Elmo Emmanuel and Jawid Khan to participate in two of these schemes and wasted valuable NHS resources as a result.”

Pamela Jain from the CPS, said “These three men were more motivated by their own greed and dishonesty, than supporting the NHS with its vital work.

"We will now pursue confiscation proceedings against them to recover their criminal proceeds.”

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