A fraudster dentist who who pocketed more than £160,000 through jobs secured with a bogus qualification has been ordered to pay back just £1,819.
An old Mercedes car worth £1,400 and a cherished number plate were ruled to be the only recoverable assets of Vinisha Sharma. The 39-year-old former Wolverhampton Girls High School pupil had previously been jailed for three years for fraud and forgery.
Lawyers at Wolverhampton Crown Court agreed yesterday that her benefit from the scam was £160,684 after tax and other deductions had been taken from the near £230,000 she earned during nine years working in jobs based on a fake Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from India before the scam was uncovered.
Throughout that period, her salary was paid into a bank account in the name of her mother Dinesh. Prosecutor Andrew Evans maintained that this was a “tainted” gift and another deliberate fraud on Sharma’s part and could therefore be recovered through Proceeds of Crime legislation.
But Harpreet Sandhu, defending, denied this. He said Sharma had used the account as her own with the permission of her mother and had not opened one in her own name because of a poor personal credit rating.
Judge Amjad Nawaz said he did not accept that prosecution’s argument and ordered Sharma, from Honeybourne Way, Willenhall, to hand over £1,819 within six months or face 30 days jail in default.
She admitted seven charges of fraud and forgery after getting work based on a fake Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from India and was jailed for three years last year.