Aberdeen pharmacist Conrad Chau jailed for £200,000 fraud
An Aberdeen pharmacist who forged prescriptions and committed a VAT fraud of more than £200,000 has been jailed.
Conrad Chau altered prescriptions to get pharmaceutical firms to send him more drugs at a discounted price so he could sell them on to other companies at a profit.
The offences took place in 2013 while he was owner of the Holburn Pharmacy.
Chau, 51, admitted various charges at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and was jailed for 20 months.
Fiscal depute Kelly Mitchell previously told the court: "The accused pretended to these companies that he had dispensed his monthly quota to genuine patients and thereafter sent over quota orders, these were sent by fax and e-mail and contained fraudulently altered prescriptions for products that had never been prescribed by relevant doctors."
The fraud was discovered when a comparison was made between the genuine prescriptions issued by local GPs and received by the NHS, and the forged versions of the same documents, which had been sent to the pharmaceutical companies.
Chau's solicitor, George Mathers, said his client had not initially realised the seriousness of the offence. He later sold the business.
The court heard that Chau intended to pay back the cash he had fraudulently taken.
However, Sheriff William Summers described it as a "loss to the public purse" and jailed the pharmacist.