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Welshpool optician jailed for fraud

Created on 08/01/2011 @ 08:13
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A Welshpool optician has been jailed for committing over £23,000 worth of fraud against the NHS.

Robert Clowes made bogus NHS claims on behalf of clients at Welshpool Eye Centre in Puzzle Square and Drayton Eye Centre in Market Drayton, between 2007 and 2009.

The Welshpool premises has remained closed since anti-fraud officers raided the building over 12 months ago.

The 44-year-old from Kingsway in Crewe pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud on  December 6 and was sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court to 27 months in jail.

Two of the six fraud charges related to his failure to inform the NHS that he had a previous conviction for dishonesty.

The NHS anti-fraud team said the crime came to light after routine checks with the practice's patients.

In the course of the checks patients reported their signatures had been forged for NHS voucher entitlements.

They also said they had not attended clinics on the dates indicated by Clowe's paperwork.

In summing up, His Honour Judge Onions said: “I am not impressed that you have made no attempt to repay.

"NHS money is scarce and becoming scarcer. A lot of people are facing financial difficulties but they don’t resort to dishonesty.”

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