Hung jury in iSOFT fraud case leaves FSA to consider position

THREE former directors of healthcare IT firm iSoft face an uncertain future after a jury yesterday failed to reach a verdict in their fraud trial for allegedly overstating the firm’s results.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) now has a month to decide whether to continue with the case. Jurors sat through four weeks of evidence at Southwark Crown Court but could not come to a conclusion after deliberating for a further fortnight.

“A further hearing has been scheduled for 7 September 2012 and the FSA will consider its position for a retrial,” the regulator said in a short statement.

The FSA began its investigation into Stephen Graham, Timothy Whiston and John Whelan in 2006 following accusations of questionable accounting practices at the firm, which had a central role in the botched £6.2bn project to provide a unified IT system for the UK’s National Health Service.

The central allegation is that the firm counted revenue from a €54.3m (£42.8m) software contract with the Irish health service as early as November 2003, even though the deal was not confirmed until 2005.

Patrick Cryne, the former iSoft chairman and owner of Barnsley football club, will be tried separately later this year on the same charges.

Two years ago Ian Storey, iSoft’s former financial controller, admitted giving false information to auditors between 2003 and 2005 and was banned from working as an accountant for eight years.