A theatre manager at St Albans Hospital was jailed for 11 years today (Wednesday, May 24) for a £600,000 fraud on the NHS.
Hasan Abusheikha, 47, of Church Street, Hemel Hempstead, took bribes, stole implants and sold equipment that had been donated to the West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust back to his hospital.
Abusheikha was found guilty after a trial of theft, fraud and bribery following an investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority.
Co-defendant Elmo Emanuel, 74, of County Durham, the chief executive of Implants International and Xtremity Solutions, was convicted of bribing Abusheikha.
Emanuel ran the companies which supplied medical equipment to the hospital. He was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment.
Another trust supplier, Jawid Khan, 51, of Windmill Road, 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. He must carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work.
The court heard that Abusheikha was in a position of responsibility within the NHS, where he was able to procure medical equipment on behalf of the trust.
As part of his role, he was required to make purchase order requests for items required for surgical procedures carried out within the hospital.
Prosecutor James Brown said Emanuel had bribed Abusheikha with £10,000 over a period of five years for sales of more than£200,000. The money was paid into Absheikha’s brother’s bank account in Jordan.
He said Khan had paid a bribe of £2,082 over 15 months for £21,228 sales into Abusheikha’s Nationwide account.
Mr Brown said: “The offence was of a sophisticated nature and involved significant planning.
“It involved a significant undermining of the proper function of a public service.
“He was in a position of procurement. It was payment for access. The money had a purpose to buy some influence. He seemed to be trusted and was proactive about procurement issues.”
When Abusheikha’s house was searched, and a large number of orthopaedic implantable devices, surgical instruments and medical equipment with a value in excess of £65,000 was recovered, it was found these had been stolen from the trust.
He had also bought a microscope for the orthopaedic department which he sold to the trust for a profit.
David Burgess for Abusheika said: “For the majority of the 10-plus years he worked for the 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.
For Emanuel, Robin Paton said: “He could not compete with large companies on an equal footing.”
He has been disqualified from being a director until he is 76.
Paul Lazarus for Khan said: “He is ashamed of his conduct and has expressed genuine remorse.”
He said Khan’s involvement was on a much lower scale. He sent the judge references that showed he was involved in charity and community work and had acted out of character.
There will be a confiscation hearing at a later date.