No verdict in trial of NHS IT supplier’s former directors

The jury in a Financial Services Authority (FSA) case against three former iSoft directors has failed to return a verdict after a four-month long trial.

The former directors, chief executive Timothy Whiston, chief operating officer (COO) Stephen Graham and finance director John Whelan were accused of supplying inaccurate financial information to investors. They were prosecuted by the FSA under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the Criminal Law Act 1977.

A fourth director and chairman Patrick Cryne, Barnsley Football Club owner, has also been charged with the same offences, but will not stand trial until later this year due to ill health, according to the Guardian.

The FSA has a month to decide whether or not it will call for a retrial.

At a hearing in 2010, the directors denied falsely stating that iSoft had signed and funded an IT contract with Irish hospitals in time for the end of its financial year on 30 April 2005. The allegedly falsified statement led to the company reporting a £9.4 million profit, instead of an £11 million loss.

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The company had been struggling with delays to the beleaguered £12.7 billion National Programme for IT, as well as writedowns from a large acquisition.

In 2006, iSoft informed the Financial Services Authority of irregularities in its accounts, and was forced to restate its results. Some £174 million revenues since 2003 had to be moved to future years.

In 2007, iSoft was acquired by Australian software firm IBA Health – which then took on the company’s name – in 2007. It supplies the Lorenzo patient administration system to hospital trusts under the NHS IT programme, with implementations carried out by CSC.

None of the directors have any association with the iSoft business now, and CSC is not involved in the case.