Singapore

Dentist pleads guilty to cheating patients of $388k

A dentist took part in a bogus claims scam that reaped $388,700 from the Medisave accounts of 13 patients.

The fraud, which involved duping the Central Provident Fund Board into dispensing the funds, left most of the patients with no money in their accounts, a district court heard yesterday.

Daniel Liew Yaoxiang, who used to work for The Smile Division Dental Group, pleaded guilty to 28 cheating charges and two counts of forgery.

A further 250 other counts for similar offences will be considered during sentencing.

Liew, 37, who committed the offences between 2011 and 2014, was the second person to be convicted for taking part in the scam. Steven Ang Kiam Hau, 44, the dentist who had devised the scheme, was jailed for 2½ years on Aug 10 last year.

The cases involving their alleged accomplices - dentist Cecil Goh Chin Chye, 48, the dental group's managing director, and Yeo Meow Koon, 47 - are pending.

Ang first hatched the plan in 2009 and implemented it at a Lucky Plaza clinic where he worked.

According to earlier reports in The Straits Times, he would offer less well-off patients lower rates for day procedures than those charged by other clinics.

He would certify that the procedures were performed on the patients on multiple dates, even though they were all done on a single day or, at most, two days.

This was to circumvent the daily withdrawal limits set by the Ministry of Health and receive multiple claim amounts from the patients' Medisave accounts.

Court documents stated that Goh found out about Ang's ruse and decided to offer the scheme to other patients.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Guan Siew said Liew became aware of the scheme and participated in it. - SHAFFIQ ALKHATIB

COURT & CRIME