Leicester City, UK : Walter Wagbatsoma, 47, a Nigerian national, has been jailed for three years and six months, by Leicester crown court in the UK – for his role in an international conspiracy which defrauded the UK public services, including Lincolnshire’s mental health NHS trust, of over £13m.
Wagbatsoma and his co-conspirators reportedly rang up hospitals, councils, schools and housing associations, posing as a legitimate building firm which was owed money by the organizations.
They then claimed their bank details had changed and instructed the organizations to put the money into a different account.
The money was then moved around several accounts in a bid to make it untraceable.
Wagbatsoma personally benefited up to the tune of £480,000 from the scam.
Lincolnshire police’s four-year investigation into the fraud ring, called Operation Tarlac, began in 2011 after Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust was cheated out of £1.28m.
Wagbatsoma, said to be on trial in Nigeria at the time of his arrest, was tried at Leicester crown court and he was convicted of conspiracy to launder money.
A judge described the scam as a “sophisticated and widespread fraud in its conception and execution”.