Thursday, 18 January 2018

Nigerian businessman Walter Wagbatsoma jailed in the UK for swindling public services of £13m

A Nigerian businessman, Walter Wagbatsoma, has been jailed for three years and six months in the UK.

The jail term is for his alleged role in an international conspiracy which defrauded the UK public services, including Lincolnshire’s mental health NHS trust, of over £13m.

Wagbatsoma, 47, 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 organisations.

According to LincolnshireLive, they then claimed their bank details had changed and instructed the organisations 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”.




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