Search

Dentists avoid jail after £46,000 fraud

14:03 09 August 2012

Werner Muller

Werner Muller

Northcliffe Media Ltd.

Two dentists, including one who lives in Norfolk, have avoided jail today after being convicted of a £46,000 NHS fraud.

Two dentists, including one who lives in Norfolk, have avoided jail today after being convicted of a £46,000 NHS fraud.

Dr Werner Muller, 45, of Field Dalling Road, Bale, near Fakenham and Dr John Atkinson, 64, of Finham Road, Kenilworth were found guilty of a double-charging fraud in which they billed the NHS for private work they did at the Clarendon Road dental practice in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Following a five-week trial at Leicester Crown Court, Muller and Atkinson were both found guilty by a jury of a number of charges of false accounting involving fraudulent claims after they manipulated a computerised billing system.

Sentencing them today, Judge Simon Hammond said he believed it was a “tragic case” involving two men who loved their jobs.

He said: “They clearly were acting dishonestly. What they did was a breach of trust.”

He sentenced them both to 12 months in prison for each offence, to run concurrently, and suspended the sentence for one year.

Both men were also ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

Muller was convicted of 20 charges of false accounting relating to 140 fraudulent claims to the health service for work done privately, involving £26,046, during 2006 and 2007.

Atkinson was convicted of 17 counts of false accounting, involving 91 fraudulent claims to the NHS, totalling £20,269.

The General Dental Council is also to carry out its own investigation into the case and Muller and Atkinson could be struck off the dentist’s register for at least five years, the court heard.

Muller has worked at Compass Clinic practices in Wells and High Kelling since 2010.

NHS Norfolk and Waveney said there is no suggestion that he was involved in anything untoward in that time.

The court case follows an investigation from NHS Protect which works to identify and tackle crime across the health service.

Mick Hayes, Anti-Fraud Lead at NHS Protect, said today: “Werner Muller and John Atkinson intentionally misled patients about the NHS treatment they could access, in order to gain financially, and then also billed the NHS for the treatment.

“NHS Protect is working hard to stamp out this kind of fraud, in order to protect both patients and NHS resources.”

Other news

14 minutes ago
Left to right: Mid Norfolk candidates George Freeman (Conservative), Simeon Jackson (Green), Harry Clarke (Labour), Paul Speed (Liberal Democrats) and Anna Coke (UKIP)  will answer your questions in tonight's Election debate.

Our latest Election debate with your local candidates saw the Mid Norfolk hopefuls answer your questions.

Lord Leicester, at Holkham Hall. Picture: Steve Adams.

Norfolk is today mourning a farmer, nobleman and conservationist who turned his stately home into a national treasure.

Yesterday, 17:47

Wells lifeboat rescued a dog which had got into difficulties in the sea off the town’s beach.

Yesterday, 11:57

Anglia One landed on a football field in the village just before 8am.

Most Read

Lord Leicester, at Holkham Hall. Picture: Steve Adams.

Norfolk is today mourning a farmer, nobleman and conservationist who turned his stately home into a national treasure.

Read more
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Yesterday, 09:34
Lord Leicester pictured two weeks ago, declaring his support for UKIP in Holkham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

In a statement today, the Holkham Estate said: “The 7th Earl of Leicester died in the early hours of Saturday, April 25.”

Read more
Yesterday, 17:47

Wells lifeboat rescued a dog which had got into difficulties in the sea off the town’s beach.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:10
Children's TV presenter Radzi Chinyangnya was the special guest at this years Wild About Wensum event held at Pensthorpe - with him are 1st Strumpshaw brownies from left, Lacey Cook, Kittie Hibbitts, Lilly Dack, Mia Robinson, Emily Warren and Tasha Eastman. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Wensum’s getting wilder, thanks to work on restoring the river to its former glories.

Read more
Saturday, July 27, 2013
The newly opened Wild Rootz play area at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

The owner of a popular Norfolk nature reserve said she hopes a new £1m outdoor play area will help ignite childrens’ passion for the great outdoors.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 3°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today E-edition