SINGAPORE – Three dental surgeons and a manager from a dental company were charged in court on Thursday (April 13) with abetment by conspiracy to cheat the Central Provident Fund Board by submitting multiple fraudulent Medisave claims.
Cecil Goh Chin Chye, 47, The Smile Division’s group managing director, and Yeo Meow Koon, 46, the group practice manager, face 612 charges each, while dentists Daniel Liew Yaoxiang, 35, and Steven Ang Kiam Hau, 42, are accused of 280 and 283 charges respectively.
The total amount disbursed in Goh’s case was about $900,000. Court documents show that he was involved in treating two patients in 49 charges.
In the case of Liew and Ang, the total amounts paid out were $388,700 and $434,241 respectively.
The alleged offences took place between 2011 and 2014 and involved 29 patients altogether.
Except for Ang, the other three are also accused conspiracy to commit forgery for the purpose of cheating.
Court documents say that Liew, Yeo and Goh abetted by scheming to forge the clinical notes of two patients, intending that they be used to cheat the Ministry of Health during a Professional Medisave Audit on The Smile Division @ Hougang Central Dental Surgery between Oct 30 and Nov 20, 2012 and at The Smile Division @ CCK between Nov 8 and 25, 2013.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release on Thursday (April 13) that it had served notices of its intended suspension of the Medisave accreditation of the three dentists.
The dentists will be given two weeks to respond to MOH. If no satisfactory explanation is given, their Medisave accreditations will be suspended from May 5 this year. This means they can continue to provide dental treatment, but will not be able to make Medisave claims on behalf of patients.
MOH added that it will refer the matter to the Singapore Dental Council, given the severity of the alleged offences.
Goh’s bail of $500,000 and Liew’s $300,000 bail were extended.
In the case of Ang, the prosecution sought court bail of $300,000.
His lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong, argued that bail should be set at no more than $200,000.
He said his client only received a fraction of the $400,000 involved.
He said the treatments were done on the patients at rates lower than the Singapore Dental Centre and they related to only 14 patients.
District Judge Christopher Goh set bail at $250,000 for Ang.
Objecting to the $100,000 bail proposed by the prosecution for Yeo, her lawyer Tan Hee Joek said his client was a mere employee and does not get any commission.
Bail of $80,000 was offered.
Mr Hamidul Haq represented Goh and Mr Chen Chee Yen for Liew.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for May 11.
The maximum punishment for cheating is 10 years and a fine, and similarly for forgery.