Croydon: Jail for woman who landed senior NHS post with bogus CV

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A woman who cheated her way into a top NHSpost with lies on her CV and bogus references has been jailed for 12 months.

Chanelle Poku, 29, pretended she had a Master’s degree in molecular biology and experience leading a charity to land a senior job with NHS Croydon’s Clinical Commissioning Group.

She was put in charge of delivering programmes for urgent care patients in the borough, and when challenged over her failing performance she made a string of false accusations of bullying, assault, and racism.

Poku, who even sent a bogus letter from a lawyer to the NHS to try to derail the investigation into her conduct, was found guilty by a jury of fraud by false representation.

“This was a role of some responsibility and you plainly didn’t have the skills for it”, said Recorder David Osborne, sentencing Poku to 12 months. “It is clear to me you have done everything you can to throw investigators off the scent in this case, and you continue to deny involvement in it.

“Your offending left a wholly-unqualified person in charge of an important role in the local NHS infrastructure. This offence is so serious that only immediate custody is justified.”

Croydon Crown Court heard that Poku had worked for charity Action Aid, collecting money in the street and going door-to-door asking for donations. She pretended her role had been much more senior when applying for the Commissioning and Programme Lead for Urgent Care post in December 2019 

When questions arose about her performance and capability she claimed she was the victim of bullying, assault, and racism. Poku also sent a letter to the NHS pretending to be a lawyer in a bid to stop the investigation into her legitimacy. 

The Master’s degree she claimed to have was fabricated after she saw it was a requirement on the job advertisement. Recorder David Osborne sentenced her to 12 months and said: “This was a role of some responsibility and you plainly didn’t have the skills for it.“It is clear to me you have done everything you can to throw investigators off the scent in this case, and you continue to deny involvement in it.

Author: Linda .R. Jones

London, UK

lindarj83@gmail.com

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