A former finance boss who defrauded the NHS of £2.2million has been jailed for more than five years.

Trevor Barry Cosson, 38, of Hastings, manipulated internal payments systems of two Sussex NHS trust to buy an extensive portfolio of eleven properties.

He pleaded guilty to offences under the Fraud Act (2006) and Proceeds of Crime Act (2002) at Blackfriars Crown Court in London and jailed for five years and four months.

The fraud was discovered after a restructure of the NHS trusts Cosson had previously worked for.

An audit revealed suspicious payments of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

NHS fraud bosses began an investigation and found he had set up standing orders in the name of regular suppliers with the payments credited to his bank accounts.

Between 2008 and 2011 Cosson authorised £810,000 worth of standing order payments, and £1.4m worth of payments between 2011 and 2012 via an internal payments system.

Sue Frith, head of the National Investigation Service at NHS Protect said: “Mr Cosson’s dishonesty resulted in the theft of over £2m from two local health bodies.

“He abused his position of trust so that he could live a lifestyle that he could not afford. Stealing from the NHS is not a victimless crime as this money could have been used to provide healthcare locally.

“The sentence reflects the seriousness of Cosson’s crime and will act as a deterrent to others.”

For the full story see tomorrow’s Argus.