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Men admit £700k health board scam involving U2 names

Mark Evill, Robert Howells and Michael Cope Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Mark Evill and Robert Howells admitted their parts in the scam

An NHS manager has admitted defrauding a health board of £700,000 by using the names of U2 band members to award contracts to his own construction firm.

Mark Evill created fictional employees Paul Hewson and David Evans, the real names of Bono and The Edge, to make his company George Morgan Ltd look real.

He awarded himself contracts from Powys Teaching Health Board while fellow Robert Howells, 65, facilitated the fraud, Merthyr Crown Court heard.

They pleaded guilty on trial day two.

A third man, Michael Cope, 44, denies one count of fraud.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The alleged fraudsters used the real names of ‘Bono’ and ‘The Edge’ from U2

Evill, 42, admitted fraud, three counts of transferring criminal property and one of perverting the course of justice, in what was described by prosecuting barrister Christopher Rees as “blatant and provocative dishonesty”.

The court previously heard Evill used George Morgan Ltd to award himself £700,000 of NHS building contracts.

He wrote emails and invoices to himself and falsified quotes from real firms to hide his fraud from auditors.

Howells, 65, admitted fraud after he was accused of endorsing George Morgan Ltd bids for work despite knowing Evill was secretly its sole director.

Bank records showed he was gifted a £10,000 car and £1,000 from the firm’s account.

Mr Cope, who also worked in the estate department, denies fraud and his trial continues.

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