Practice manager becomes second this month jailed for six-figure fraud

A practice manager in York has been jailed for two years after defrauding a GP surgery out of nearly £600,000 - just days after another practice manager was imprisoned for a similar crime.

Former practice manager Carolyn Lightwing (Photo: North Yorkshire Police)
Former practice manager Carolyn Lightwing (Photo: North Yorkshire Police)

Carolyn Lightwing transferred a total of £596,000 over a three-year period to bank accounts she set up to pose as suppliers to the surgery.

Ms Lightwing manipulated accounts at the Elvington Medical Practice to cover her tracks - transferring funds from one year’s records to the previous year’s to hide shortfalls created by the fraud. The fact that funds were missing was only discovered after she quit her role at the practice in 2017.

She was jailed for two years at York Crown Court on 12 July - the same week as a practice manager in Manchester was sent to prison for defrauding a GP surgery out of almost £700,000.

Ms Lightwing claimed she took the money to cover bills and intended to pay it back - and the funding has since been repaid.

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Investigating officer, detective constable Sarah Burton, said: 'This was a massive breach of trust by the defendant and it has had a profound effect on everyone at the surgery.

'Thankfully the money has since been repaid in full and now that justice has been done, I hope that the staff are able to put this difficult time behind them and continue their vital role in our communities without the distraction that this audacious case has caused.'

Speaking on behalf of doctors and staff at the practice, current practice manager Abigail Holdstock said: 'The partners and staff of Elvington Medical Practice were shocked and upset on learning of the crime committed by their trusted former employee and work colleague.

'The partners have assisted the police with their investigation of the crime since it was discovered in November 2017. As far as the partners are aware, there has been no compromise to patient care as a result of Ms Lightwing’s fraud.

'The partners now wish to move on from what has been a very distressing chapter in the practice’s history.'

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