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Massive Fraud Gets British Dentist Three Years in Prison

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When your dental practice includes submitting thousands of claims for treating dead patients and performing work that never took place, the odds are that the scheme will collapse at some point.For a dentist from the U.K., who has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for the biggest dental-fraud case in British history, the end came after more than six years and 3,500 bogus claims for which he was reimbursed over £607,000 (over $ 1 million U.S.).

Michael Semeniuk, 45, of Willerby, pleaded guilty to 27 counts of obtaining property by deception to cover a fraud spree that lasted for over five years before it was uncovered by the Dental Practice Board.

When he was finally arrested, Semeniuk told police: “To be honest I have been expecting you.”

He admitted submitting false claims amounting to between £5,000 and £8,000 each by faking signatures and creating false names and addresses for patients who didn’t exist.

Judge Tom Cracknell, who sentenced Semeniuk, stated: “It’s a very sad basis to have to sentence a professional man who for most of his life has been conscientious, hard-working and has contributed substantially to the welfare of the community. You took the wrong course, you resorted to dishonesty and deceit and abused the trust. Your personal, family and professional life is disfigured.”

Officials of the NHS Counter Fraud Service Dental Fraud Team were shocked by Semeniuk’s use of his trusted position to steal huge sums of taxpayers’ money. They now intend to “concentrate on recovering the money he stole and investing it back into NHS dentistry.”

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