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Former accountant jailed for 11 years after siphoned £1.5m in client funds

A former NHS executive and chartered accountant from Manchester who siphoned almost £1.5 million from several companies, including those that care for vulnerable adults, has been jailed following an extensive six-year investigation.

Former accountant jailed for 11 years after siphoned £1.5m in client funds
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  • Staff Reporter
  • April 20, 2021
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Stephen Day was handed the 11 year and five months sentence at Leeds Crown Court last Thursday, 15 April, after pleading guilty to 12 counts of fraud offences and theft. He is also subject to a director's disqualification for nine years.

Mr Day, who professed to be a financial turnaround consultant and accountant, would advise businesses on their finances, and worked under more than 20 company names.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) became aware of fraudulent activity between August 2011 and September 2014 after reports were passed to the force’s Economic Crime Unit by the victims. In fact, alarm bells rang when several companies raised concerns about money disappearing under Mr Day’s management. 

The GMP found that the missing funds – £1,382,244 million in total – were being paid into Mr Day's own company accounts instead of suppliers. 

Detective Sergeant Stuart Donohue, who has led on the investigation since the beginning, said, “This has been the most painstaking investigation of my career to date.

“Around 160 evidence boxes, recovered from his estate and office, which are full to the brim with folders have been scrupulously examined by the team. And this doesn’t include all the interview transcripts, digital files and endless hours spent tracing his movements.”

Referring to Mr Day as a "career-criminal", Mr Donohue said "he built his life on cheating and stealing". 

“Every step of the way he has lied and tried to find any way to avoid going to prison. He has created numerous deliberate delays to the prosecution, which the Police and CPS have tirelessly dealt with, and has been unwilling to fully accept his actions. But, as with all crimes, it has caught up with him today," he noted.

Richard Rippin, head of operations of the NHSCFA, said, “Stephen Day carried out a calculated fraud against the NHS.

"Any money lost to fraud effects the amount of resources the NHS has available for front line care. The money stolen by Day would have been enough to fund the annual salaries of three nurses.

"If you suspect NHS fraud, please report it to us either through our online reporting form or by calling our fraud and corruption reporting line."

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