A man who falsely posed as a qualified doctor has been jailed for more than two years.
An investigation by NHS Protect found Luis Conrad de Souza of Kent “hijacked” a genuine GP’s medical credentials to receive at least £361,000 of NHS money in fraudulently obtained earnings.
De Souza was found guilty of committing two offences of Obtaining a Pecuniary Advantage by Deception, contrary to Section 16 of the Theft Act 1968.
Croydon Crown Court heard de Souza “sustained the lie that he was a qualified doctor for many years”, enabling him to work in well-paid strategic roles for Lewisham PCT from 2001 to 2010.
De Souza’s CV said he was awarded a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, University of London, in 1991.
However, university records show he attended another of their colleges and he dropped out after two years.
He also claimed to hold a BSc (First-Class Honours) in Biochemistry and Chemistry from the University of Cambridge, dated 1987.
Yet Cambridge reported it found no record that he studied there either.
“NHS Protect worked in partnership with Lewisham PCT and the Metropolitan Police to investigate Luis Conrad de Souza,” said Mick Hayes, Anti-Fraud Lead at NHS Protect.
“This fraud was unusually large, and was a serious abuse of his high position in the NHS.”
De Souza was jailed for 18 months for NHS offences and nine months for CSA-related offences, in which he supplied another person’s DNA to the Child Support Agency (CSA) in order to disclaim paternity for this child.
De Souza’s first role with Lewisham PCT saw him become Head of Commissioning and Service Development in 1999, which required ‘education to degree level or equivalent’.
Following a stint as a clinical advisor in 2001, de Souza took up the post of Clinical Director of the South East London Clinical Cardiac Network (SELCCN), in which it was ‘essential’ for applicants to have a degree and clinical experience,
De Souza resigned from Lewisham PCT, on an unrelated matter, in August 2010.
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“I think that the sentence is disgraceful – especially so the DNA related offence. Wow, for all of the ‘the law is an ass’ comments. This just blows me away. Where is red tape when we really need it? Just shows, it’s on par (slightly) with not paying your council tax…….. Think we should all give up and die!! Shameful” – Sandra Davies, London