• Conrad de Souza pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud at Croydon Crown Court yesterday
  • He was jailed for 27 months in 2011 after lying about being a doctor at Lewisham PCT for nine years
  • In 2013 and 2014 he applied for a number of jobs he knew he was not qualified for

A convicted fraudster who was jailed for more than two years after pretending to be a doctor for nine years at a primary care trust has pleaded guilty after being caught trying to commit a similar crime again.

Conrad de Souza pleaded guilty on Monday to six out of nine counts of fraud at Croydon Crown Court. The three other counts will lie on file.

He was caught by the same NHS Protect investigators who brought him to justice in 2011. Then he was jailed for 27 months after lying that he was a qualified doctor to Lewisham PCT, where he earned £329,000 working in clinical strategy between 2001 and 2010.

Mr de Souza, aged 57, of Brompton Park Crescent, Fulham, London, is due to be sentenced for his latest offences on 12 January.

In 2013 and 2014, NHS Protect said Mr de Souza had dishonestly applied for jobs at:

  • the Office for Public Management, as a health fellow and also for a post as consultant in health;
  • Slough Borough Council as head of service in its care commissioning group;
  • Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead CCG as interim director of development commissioning; and
  • Surrey Health CCG as transformation programme manager.

Between August 2013 and May 2014, he dishonestly made eight representations to the recruitment agency Dearden Interim about his qualifications and previous convictions.

De Souza was unsuccessful in the job applications but knew when he applied for the jobs it was an essential requirement to have a degree and clinical specialisms. He did not meet any of these requirements.

NHS Protect anti-fraud specialist Dave Horsley said: “It seems that a 27 month custodial sentence in 2011, plus being ordered to repay the NHS £270,000 in 2012, was not a sufficient deterrent last time. I am hoping he has finally learned his lesson and starts being honest with any prospective employers.”

Richard Rippin, head of operations for NHS Protect, added: “What is obvious is that Mr de Souza sees himself as suitable for top health jobs even if nobody else does. Had he succeeded in his latest, deceitful job hunt, Mr de Souza would have regained considerable power, responsibility and financial reward – a frightening prospect.”

In 2015-16, the value of fraud, bribery and corruption identified in the NHS was £6.5m, with more than £2.4m confiscated by 31 March this year. At the end of the financial year, NHS Protect was investigating fraud worth £25m.