Retrial of HSE contract case collapses in London
Case centred on claims the directors deliberately lied about winning contract to supply information systems
Timothy Whiston, John Whelan and Patrick Cryne are said to have deliberately included revenue from software contracts with the Irish health system, which had yet to be received, in the published accounts of healthcare provider iSoft, transforming losses into profit.
The retrial of three former directors accused of forging a multi-million euro contract to supply the Health Service Executive (HSE) in order to mislead investors has collapsed.
Timothy Whiston (45), with fellow executives Stephen Graham (49), John Whelan (46), and Barnsley FC owner Patrick Cryne (62), are said to have deliberately included revenue from software contracts with the Irish health system, which had yet to be received, in the published accounts of healthcare provider iSoft, transforming losses into profit.
Mr Whiston, Mr Graham, and Mr Whelan, have been on trial since April at Southwark Crown Court in London accused of making false statements to the markets about their firm. Mr Cryne has been excused from legal proceedings due to ill health.
The case centres on claims the directors deliberately lied about winning a major contract to supply information systems to Irish Hospital Information Systems in October 2003.
Prosecutors directed by the Financial Conduct Authority say the deal was not actually signed until April 30th, 2005, but the firm deliberately misled the stock market.
All four men deny any wrongdoing and have fiercely contested the claims through the courts for more than 3½ years.
However, the latest three-month trial collapsed after Judge Anthony Leonard QC discharged the jury for reasons which cannot be reported. Prosecutors are currently considering whether to ask for a third trial of the trio and will announce their decision later this month.
The drama comes after more than three years of legal wrangling over alleged wrongdoing at the software firm.
The former directors, including Mr Cryne, stood trial last year, but the jury failed to reach a verdict after a costly 3½-month trial.
The collapse of the retrial comes after months of hearings, just as barristers were preparing to make their closing speeches to the jury.
ISoft, based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, was sold to Australian software firm IBA Health after a takeover in October 2007.
Mr Graham, Knutsford, Cheshire, Mr Whiston, Lymme, Cheshire, and Mr Whelan, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, all deny conspiracy to make misleading statements or forecasts, contrary to section 397 (1) (a) and (2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, and section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.