Wales

NHS managers in U2 name fraud ordered to repay more than £500,000

Mark Evill, Robert Howells and Michael Cope Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Mark Evill, Robert Howells and Michael Cope were jailed last year

Three health service managers jailed for defrauding the NHS using the names of U2 members have been ordered to repay more than half a million pounds.

Last year Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard Mark Evill, 47, used the Irish rock stars' names to award contracts to his bogus construction firm.

Colleagues Robert Howells and Michael Cope helped. 

Evill was sentenced to seven years while Howells, 65, and Cope, 43, were locked up for four and three years.

At Swansea Crown Court, Judge Peter Heywood ordered the three to pay back £563,496.95 to Powys Teaching Health board and £120 each in surcharges.

The health board is also recovering more than £114,000 from HMRC in taxes paid by Evill's fake construction company. 

The court heard Evill benefitted to the tune of £795,930.06 from the fraud. The judge ordered the 47-year-old repay all of the money he had available as compensation, which was £549,688.75.

Robert Howells was ordered to pay £13,123.73, plus £124.27 inflation, and a victim surcharge of £120, a total of £13,368.24.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Evill made up employees called Paul Hewson and David Evans - the real names of Bono and The Edge from U2

Michael Cope was ordered to pay £659.96 to the Powys Teaching Health Board within three months. The sum is made up of the £500 he received from Evill, plus inflation of £59.96, and a £120 surcharge.

Evill created George Morgan Ltd, apparently named after his dog, in an attempt to divert NHS contracts to himself, before recruiting the others into a "despicable fraud on the health service".

Last year Judge Peter Heywood said Evill had "the gall to create fictitious characters" in an effort to hide the fraud, including made-up employees called Paul Hewson and David Evans - the real names of Bono and The Edge from U2.

The court was told the work carried out on hospitals by Evill's firm was so poor it cost the NHS £1.4m to repair. Some of the jobs commissioned were not even carried out.

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