Durban - Umhlanga doctor Mahendra Pramchand was charged with 370 fresh counts of fraud at the Durban Commercial Crimes court on Friday morning.
The new charges were brought against him just hours before he took the stand with his socialite ex-wife Anez Awath-Behari, also a doctor – both facing charges of medical aid fraud of about R3.5 million.
In their current case the couple, who are divorced but allegedly still live together, are accused of defrauding Polmed, a medical aid scheme for police officers, and another medical aid scheme, Bonitas, between June 2007 and January 2008.
The State alleges that Behari and Pramchand falsely admitted patients to their clinic, Prydon, for substance-abuse treatment or depression, and claimed from the medical schemes for payment.
The alleged fraud was picked up when one of the officers, a member of Polmed, discovered that there were claims for hospitalisation when she was at work.
Further investigations revealed discrepancies in other claims that the clinic made to the medical schemes.
Pramchand’s lawyer, Themba Mjoli, attempted to have the case against his client struck off the roll, claiming that the State had delayed the trial for too long, since the matter came to court in June 2009.
However, this was opposed by the State and the case was adjourned to October 30 for documents to be submitted.
In the new charges brought against Pramchand on Friday, it is alleged that he made claims to Medscheme on behalf of patients who had blood drawn for tests, but no such tests had allegedly been undertaken.
This case was set for pre-trial on November 7.
Independent on Saturday