UK & World News

  • 29 July 2014, 16:00

Royal Marsden Hospital Worker Jailed For Scam

A hospital worker has been jailed over her pivotal role in a fraud that saw more than £640,000 meant for cancer drugs being blown on designer goods and mortgage payments.

Stacey Tipler, 32, abused her position of trust in the accounts department at the Royal Marsden NHS Trust to alter payment details that led to the money being funnelled from the world-leading London cancer clinic.

At one point a drugs firm threatened to stop supplying the hospital with medication after failing to receive payment because of the fraud, Southwark Crown Court heard.

The sophisticated scam saw Tipler substitute 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.

Those receiving the cash kept some for themselves, using it to make mortgage payments or go on shopping sprees at luxury designers Gucci and Louis Vuitton. One spent £200 at the London Parachute School.

But most of the cash was passed back to Chaplin.

The couple maintained a "cash reserve" to meet their bills and mortgage payments.

They are also understood to have spent several thousand pounds on a deposit for a venue in Surrey for their planned wedding, although this never took place.

Some of the money was recovered but the hospital remains £310,000 out of pocket.

Chaplin was jailed for five-and-a-half-years, while Tipler was sentenced to four years.

Passing sentence Judge Anthony Leonard QC said Chaplin was the "main instigator" but Tipler was "invaluable" to the scam, which he said could have been "catastrophic" for patients.

He told her: "The skill which you showed in trying to ensure the fraud would go undiscovered was very great and very dishonest. It was a very clever but dishonest fraud."

Tipler, a mother-of-two from Carshalton, in the south London borough of Sutton, who worked at the trust for 10 years, was found guilty after a trial of conspiracy to defraud.

Chaplin, 33, also from Carshalton, was convicted of the same charge and a count of conspiracy to money launder.

Money of varying amounts was passed to the accounts of Adrian Horan, 43, Clinton Woollery, 35, Thomas Quinlan, 26, Russell Baker, 32, and William Flynn, 37.

Horan, of Sutton, Surrey, was jailed for 21 months, Flynn, of Wallington, Surrey, for a year, Woollery, of Sutton, for 10 months and Quinlan, of Banstead, Surrey, for eight months.

Baker and another defendant Roy Harriott, 31, of Sutton, were given suspended sentences of nine weeks and 12 weeks respectively.

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