THE former boss of Torbay Hospital is to stand trial accused of committing a £20,000 fraud which allegedly benefitted her husband’s business.
Paula-Vasco-Knight is charged with dishonestly abusing her position as chief executive of the South Devon NHS Foundation Trust between October 2012 and April 2013.
She appeared from Liverpool via video link at Exeter Crown Court on Friday alongside her husband Stephen Vasco-Knight.
The offences relate to Mrs Vasco-Knight, 52, and a tendering process involving her husband’s graphic design business and two payments of £9,000 and £11,072.
The first fraud alleges she abused her position as chief executive of trust and did not follow the normal procurement process; the second that she forwarded details of quotes of rival bidders to her husband enabling him to succeed with a tender for contract; the third that she authorised payment of £11,072 from the trust to her husband’s business for work that was not done.
To the three charges she pleaded not guilty.
Mr Vasco-Knight, 45, pleaded not guilty to a single count of fraud by false representation which alleges he submitted an invoice for £11,072.
A third defendant appeared in the dock at Exeter.
Habib Naqvi, 38, denied three fraud offences alleging he assisted his co-defendants and facilitated the payments.
Judge Graham Cottle set a trial date of January 23, 2017.
Mr and Mrs Vasco-Knight, of Runcorn in Cheshire, and Naqvi, from Bristol, were granted bail until the trial.