An NHS scientist has been suspended after carrying out a “sophisticated” scam to defraud John Lewis of over £1,600.
Maureen Benny changed the price tags of expensive products to buy cheaper ones during the three-month press release before Christmas.
He also returned the watch he had bought at an online sale in an expensive box to claim a refund of twice the amount he had initially paid for.
Ms Benny admitted misconduct at the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Services panel, and was suspended from her profession for 12 months and banned from shopping in person and online at John Lewis.
The hearing was told that at the time of the scandals he worked as a Biomedical Scientist in the Department of Hematology, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS.
The disciplinary panel heard allegations that the medical staff engaged in “ticket swapping and refund fraud” in Glasgow, causing “financial” profits of £1,660.
The fraudulent activity was discovered after John Lewis launched an internal investigation, and Ms. Benny was contacted by police.
The department store report alleges that Ms Benny worked with a “pseudo-element” because she was either deliberately “hiding herself from view” while swapping the price tags of the products.
In one incident Ms. Benny returned a gold watch she had bought in an online sale in “high-priced packaging” of a silver watch she had previously bought in the store for double the price.
She claimed that she had returned the gold watch – in a silver case – intended as a Christmas present for her daughter, as her daughter wanted “the same in gold”.
“It was clear that [Ms Bennie] The panel said she had returned the watch in high priced packaging to receive a benefit which she knew she was not entitled to.
“The panel did not acknowledge that the refund fraud resulted from a complicit attempt to return items that were no longer desired or used.”
Ms Benny pleaded guilty to criminal charges, and in August 2019, she was granted a “full discharge” after the Glasgow Sheriff’s Court paid John Lewis an amount less than the net worth of her fraud.
At the disciplinary hearing, Ms Benny admitted misconduct through her dishonesty and claimed she was “not herself” at the time of the incidents.
However, the panel ruled that he had “exhibited limited insight” into his behavior, and did not take full responsibility for his actions.
It concluded: “(His) dishonesty persisted for more than three months and involved a sophisticated process to obtain financial gain under various circumstances.
“Ms Benny only had limited insight into the damage she had done.
“He downplayed the seriousness of his actions and the impact they had on John Lewis by saying that ‘all the money spent went to John Lewis’.
“It shows that she was still struggling to recognize that her actions were dishonest and that John Lewis was harmed as a result.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /