Surrey

Surrey dentist Mark Walewski jailed for NHS fraud

Mark Walewski
Image caption Walewski abused his position of trust, the judge said

A Surrey dentist who defrauded the NHS out of more than £222,000 has been jailed for three years.

Mark Walewski, 68, who ran the New Dental Surgery in Hindhead, admitted four counts of fraud at a previous hearing at Guildford Crown Court.

The court heard the six-year scam involved 6,608 payment claims either for work that had been paid for privately or work that was never done.

The surgery is now owned and operated by a different practice.

Jailing Walewski, Judge Stephen Climie said: "This involved a gross abuse of the position of trust that you held.

"There was an associated risk as patients' records do not now reflect the truth of treatment.

"This casts a shadow over your profession as a whole."

The court heard Walewski - who had an NHS contract worth £340,000 and an annual income of £150,000 - made false claims from 2006 to 2012.

The total loss to the NHS was £222,703.34.

In one claim, four siblings received an identical filling on the same day.

And a claim was made for an examination of a 17-day-old baby who "obviously had no teeth".

Image copyright Surrey Police
Image caption Police photographed a Ferrari at Mark Walewski's Surrey home

Walewski, from Churt, near Farnham, admitted two counts of obtaining money transferred by deception and two counts of fraud by abuse of position.

Seventeen other charges remained on file.

When police visited his home in 2012, they found a Ferrari and a Lotus at the property and the prosecution described Walewski as "well-off", with several properties and a fleet of classic cars.

Walewski at first denied any wrongdoing and suggested a dental nurse could have made the claims by mistake leading to the arrest of another staff member.

His lawyer Jonathan Rees said Walewski had spent much of his career helping disabled patients access dental care.

After the hearing, Sue Frith, managing director of NHS Protect, the health service's anti-fraud team, said Walewski deliberately stole money that should have been used to provide care.

She said: "He abused his position of trust so that he could enjoy a lifestyle way beyond that of the average taxpayer."

Image copyright Surre Police
Image caption Police also found a Lotus at Walewski's Churt home

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