Fake Indian-origin dentist jailed in UK

Fake Indian-origin dentist jailed in UK

Vinisha Sharma, 37, had pleaded guilty in September to seven counts of forgery and fraud, and has now been sentenced at the Wolverhampton Crown Court to three years' imprisonment.

Sharma claimed to have completed a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from the Sri Guru Ram Das Institute for Dental Sciences and Research in Amritsar.

She earned almost 230,000 pounds while working on the basis of the false degree over nine years.

Her deception was uncovered following claims that she had removed the wrong teeth from a patient.

Judge Amjad Nawaz described Sharma's offences as 'pre-determined and deliberate' breaches of the public's trust.

He said: "It does seem to me that the level at which this offending took place and the organisation which must have gone behind it in order to obtain the documents, was very pre- determined and, in those circumstances, highly criminal. Much of what, sadly, she was telling people was a lie - that is the sad truth behind the offending in this particular case."

The General Dental Council reportedly did not check the authenticity of the fake degree certificate when her application for registration was submitted in January 2000.
Sharma was convicted following a complex investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Service, which extended to India.

Mick Hayes, operational fraud manager at the NHS Counter Fraud Service, said: "Because Sharma initially denied the charges, extensive inquiries had to be made in India to locate and bring to the UK a number of key witnesses. Only when faced with their evidence did she finally change her plea to guilty. We are very grateful to those witnesses and to the Indian authorities."