Dental thieves sentenced to nine years
Prison for health workers who stole £160,000 worth of dental equipment
Two former health workers have been sentenced to nine months in prison after being found guilty of stealing dental equipment worth £160,000 and selling it on eBay.
Darren Lawson (40), from Dunbar East Lothian, was working as a storeman and driver for NHS Lothian when he stole the equipment from locations in Edinburgh and Musselburgh. Lawson then passed the equipment, which was purchased by NHS Lothian Salaried Primary Care Dental Service, on to Gianni Donofrio (47), from Prestonpans, East Lothian who used an eBay pseudonym to sell the equipment online.
Donofrio and Lawson had met while working at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh but, at the time of the offences, Donofrio was on secondment at NHS Scotland’s National Procurement and Distribution Centre at Candleside, Lanarkshire.
They made a large profit selling these items online and were only caught as a result of the partnership investigation by Police Scotland and NHSScotland Counter Fraud Services.
Detective Sergeant Gordon Millar
The theft only came to light when a dentist who had purchased some of the stolen equipment contacted the manufacturer W&H and asked if it was still covered by a warranty. W&H checked the serial numbers and found that they matched a consignment that was sold to the health board.
The investigation, conducted by NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services (CFS) and Police Scotland, resulted in both men pleading guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Gordon Young, Head of CFS, said “Counter Fraud Services will continue to work in partnership with all Health Boards in Scotland to prevent, deter and detect fraud and will pursue fraudsters whenever they are identified. In this particular case, the actions of these individuals resulted in a substantial loss to a Health Board. I welcome the assistance of Police Scotland and the opportunity to work in partnership with the Police in bringing these two NHS employees to justice.”
Detective Sergeant Gordon Millar of Police Scotland said: “Both Lawson and Donofrio met while employed by NHS Lothian and worked together to steal a considerable quantity of dental equipment, which was paid for by the taxpayer.
“They made a large profit selling these items online and were only caught as a result of the partnership investigation by Police Scotland and NHSScotland Counter Fraud Services.
“The sentence handed to both men today should serve as a reminder to the public that we will continue to work alongside all of our relevant partners to identify those responsible for criminal offences and ensure they face prosecution for their actions.”