Prosecutors struggle to claw back bogus doctor’s earnings
A bogus doctor, who is doing time after illegally working at Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital, has lost his watch inside prison – frustrating prosecuters’ attempts to claw back his ill-gotten gains.
Levon Mkhitarian scammed more than £83,000 from health authorities after stealing the identity of a real Thanet GP.
He was jailed at Canterbury Crown Court for six years – sparking a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Despite all his earnings and having two bank accounts, two mobile phones, an iPad and two ‘very old’ laptop computers and a watch, his assets have been assessed at just £1,627.28.
His barrister, Simon Ray, told the court: “The watch is somewhere within the prison system, and as of February 6 he was told his property has been lost. He was told to file for compensation.”
Now Judge Adele Williams has ordered an investigation into how the property disappeared.
After ruling the fake doc had received £83,068.90 as a result of his deceit, she ordered money raised by the sale of property to be confiscated and then handed over to the health authorities.
Judge Williams told Russiaborn Mkhitarian, 36, that he had three months to pay the money or face a further four months added to his sentence.
Mkhitarian, who pleaded guilty to 22 offences of deception, fraud and visa offences, treated thousands of patients, many of them seriously ill, after taking the Thanet GP’s identity to land jobs, even though the doctor in question had been struck off.
At his sentencing hearing in July last year, it was revealed how his deceit has had a “detrimental effect on the NHS” and patients who believed he was a qualified doctor.