02:55PM, Monday 19 April 2021
A Slough Borough Council employee who lied about being off sick when she was actually working for at least four other care agencies has been convicted of fraud.
Gurjinder Bhogal, of Aspects Court, Slough, worked for the council managing a team of occupational therapists.
Her role included organising the day-to-day running of the local authority’s Rehabilitation, Recovery and Reablement team which provides short-term support for residents to live independently following a period of illness or disability.
But the 41-year-old misled her bosses by claiming she was working or off sick when she was actually working as an occupational therapist at other care agencies.
She admitted four counts of fraud by abuse of position between September 2018 and March 2020 and appeared for sentencing at Reading Crown Court on Friday, April 9.
Bhogal received an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to the council.
Sentencing Bhogal, Judge Edward Burgess said: “Your role bore considerable responsibility to co- workers and patients. You were not able to discharge your duties. Potential consequences could have been far reaching and severe. You benefitted financially yourself.”
The council said other members of Bhogal’s team covered in her absence and no residents were impacted by her actions.
The 41-year-old resigned from the council in August 2020.
Following her criminal conviction, a report will be submitted to her professional body to consider her fitness to practice as an occupational therapist, the council added.
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