Newham NHS fraudster from Newbury Park ordered to pay back £200k to health service or serve more jail time

Nehwam CCG is based in Stratford's Unex Tower. Picture: Adam Scott/NHS.

Nehwam CCG is based in Stratford's Unex Tower. Picture: Adam Scott/NHS. - Credit: Adam Scott

An NHS manager from Newbury Park has been ordered to pay back more than £220,000 he defrauded from Newham’s clinical commissioning group or serve an extra three years in prison.

Michael Inije, 58, of Stainforth Road was ordered to pay a total of £220,431.48 by Snaresbrook Crown Court on October 4. That is all the fraudster's known assets. But that's not all that he took.

Inije was jailed for three years and nine months in 2018 after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position and taking at least £382,519 from Newham CCG over four years.

Head of the NHS's counter fraud operations, Richard Rippin, said: "Where people seek to exploit the NHS for their own personal gain, we will take all action necessary to ensure that defrauded money is recovered and returned to the NHS to be used for what it was originally intended for - the delivery of patient care.

"Mr Inije's greed meant hundreds of thousands of pounds for the care of NHS patients was diverted into his pocket."

To get the money, he abused his position as deputy accounts and governance manager at North East London Commissioning Support Unit, which supports organisations like Newham CCG.

In May 2017, one of Inije's colleagues noticed an £18,500 invoice submitted for payment by a company called Davii J Services wasn't clear about the services it provided the borough's commissioning group.

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The payment was withheld and extra checks were made. As suspicions grew, a fraud investigation was launched by NHS England.

The payment was supposedly for assessments and reviews of people with long-term, complex health needs (Continuing Healthcare cases) in March 2017. It was approved by Inije. He didn't usually approve payments for CHCs.

Investigators found out the system had been set up so all invoices from Davii J Services were sent only to Inije for approval. That company's sole director was also Inije.

Between November 2013 and May 2017 he submitted 24 invoices to himself under the guise of the company.

A spokesman for the Commissioning Support Unit said it followed NHS England fraud procedure and reported the suspicious incident to the counter fraud team.

He said Inije was suspended and then fired after an investigation, adding: "The money is being returned to the NHS, where it belongs."

According to the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, £1.27 billion was lost to fraud in 2017/18.