• Jon Andrewes ordered to pay back part of earnings after fraud
  • Andrewes falsified CV and lied to get jobs in NHS
  • Judge rejects claim Andrewes is entitled to his earnings

A disgraced NHS non-executive who lied his way into a string of top jobs has been ordered to sell his boat and cash in a pension plan to repay some of the money he earned through his fraud.

Former social worker Jon Andrewes invented fake degrees and qualifications, which helped him get appointed to jobs running a hospice and two NHS trusts, including Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust.

Andrewes’s frauds led to him being overpaid by £643,000 over more than a decade at the St Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton, the Torbay Care Trust, and in Cornwall.

He was jailed for two years at Exeter Crown Court last year, but brought back to face confiscation of his assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Recorder Mr Martin Meeke, QC, rejected his claim that he was entitled to keep the pay because he had worked hard and effectively, regardless of how he came to get the jobs.

He set the amount by which Andrewes had benefited as £643,000 but assessed his available assets as only £97,737.24.

He ordered him to pay this sum within three months or go back to jail for a further year.

The judge said his employment had been obtained unlawfully and that it would be contrary to the public interest for him not to repay the money.

He said: “I bear in mind the defendant was narrowly preferred to another candidate when he was appointed to the hospice and those who appointed him considered honesty and integrity to be central to the result.

“These were qualities, which he clearly lacked. I do not consider this order to be disproportionate. The recoverable amount represents less than 15 per cent of the benefit figure.”

The assets Andrewes must sell include a half share in a Dutch barge, a share of his profit from the sale of the house in Topsham, an insurance payout for a Seat Leon car, premium bonds, and a pension plan.

Andrewes, 64, of Flood Street, Totnes, admitted deception and two counts of fraud. He has completed his two year sentence and is now out on licence.

Andrewes’s barrister Miss Ros Collins said he did not derive any benefit from crime because he performed all his jobs well and was entitled to be paid for his work.

She said it would be disproportionate to strip him of assets, which he built up.

“He paid back all the money he was paid by working,” Miss Collins said. “He only received payment for the work that he did.”

Mr Cameron Brown, prosecuting, said: “There was a conscious misrepresentation and there are public policy reasons why he should be deprived of his earnings.”

Andrewes was exposed in 2015 when he was running the Cornwall trust and staff became suspicious and a check was made on his CV.

The trust, which was placed in special measures in 2017, has had a high leadership turnover in the last five years. 

He claimed to have been managing director of a youth charity called Groundworks when in fact he had spent most of his career as a probation officer, customs officer or youth worker.

His only formal qualification was a Higher Education Certificate in Social Work from Bristol University. Despite this, he styled himself as Dr Andrewes. 

In a series of job applications, he provided CVs which claimed he had a PhD in Leadership and Success from Plymouth University, where he said he had written a thesis called Women in Power.

He lied about having a Masters in Business Administration from Edinburgh University and degree from Bristol. He also claimed to have a Diploma in Advanced Accountancy.

The recovery proceedings were brought by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority.

Head of operations Richard Rippin said: ”It is vitally important that all available assets are recovered when someone deliberately sets out to defraud the NHS for their personal gain, and that money is returned to provide the patient care for which it was originally intended. This action sends a clear message that the NHSCFA is committed to pursuing those who exploit public funds for their own benefit.”