Pros­e­cu­tors strug­gle to claw back bo­gus doc­tor’s earn­ings

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Paul Hooper

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.

Pic­ture: Kent Po­lice

Levon Mkhi­tar­ian

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