Fraud office case costs reach £15m

Expenditure on the Serious Fraud Office’s marathon inquiry into a suspected
conspiracy to defraud the NHS escalated from £26,000 in 2000 to reach nearly £15
million at the end of last year, Solicitor General Mike O’Brien has revealed.

He told MPs that last year alone costs in the case, which concerns the prices
charged by suppliers for prescribed drugs between 1996 and 2000, reached £4.4
million.

Mr O’Brien said in a written statement: ‘Not for the first time the
eye-watering escalation of total expenditure raises many questions.’ Charges
against nine company executives involved in the case are expected tomorrow.

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