A man has been jailed for 12 months after he kept almost £25,000 that was wrongfully paid into his bank account by Manchester’s Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
Ronel Kiyanga, 20, of South Croydon, was found guilty of two counts of retaining wrongful credit after splurging on foreign currency and technical goods with the cash.
When first questioned Kiyanga claimed he thought the money was a compensation payout linked to an accident claim.
Detective Constable Rob Wevill, from Croydon CID, who investigated the case, said: “Although we were never able to prove Kiyanga had knowledge of, or was involved in getting the NHS Trust to pay the money into his account, anyone receiving unexpected payments for this amount of money should have reported it to the bank or police.
“Kiyanga, on the other hand, decided to go out almost immediately and spend the money, buying foreign currency and high value tech goods worth over £20k.
“Anyone who mistakenly receives money into their account should report it to their bank immediately, however large or small the sum.
“In this case it was patently obvious that Kiyanga was not the rightful or intended recipient and he is now facing a custodial sentence for his dishonesty.”
The UK’s leading cancer hospital, the Christie Foundation NHS Trust, contacted the police in 2013 expressing concerns regarding overpayments made to one of their suppliers.
It emerged that someone had emailed the trust claiming to be from the supplier’s finance department to request that future payments be made into a new bank account.
The trust proceeded to make two payments totalling just over £24,500 into the fraudulent account, believing it to be their supplier.
Kiyanga was caught out after the genuine supplier contacted Christie’s to chase up unpaid invoices, at which point they confirmed they had not changed their bank details.
Officers quickly linked the account to Kiyanga and found bank statements linked to the fraudulent account when they arrested him in his Croydon home in May 2013.
Police investigations revealed six large payments and withdrawals totalling approximately £22,000 were also made from the account during the same period.
Investigating officers also found no evidence of any truth in Kiyanga’s claim that he was expecting a compensation payout for an accident.
DC Wevill said: “It was patently obvious that Kiyanga was not the rightful or intended recipient and he is now facing a custodial sentence for his dishonesty”.
A confiscation hearing seeking to recover the money involved is due to take place at Croydon Crown Court on June 12.