Portsmouth doctor Rumi Chhapia admits embezzling £1.13m from network of city GP practices
A CHEATING doctor has admitted embezzling more than £1.13m from a conglomerate of city GP practices in an ‘astonishing’ abuse of trust.
Dr Rumi Chhapia was an appointed director of the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance Limited - a group of 16 GP surgeries which provide out-of-hours care for Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard today how the crooked GP siphoned £1,133,704.50p from the accounts of the group between August 20 and September 30 last year.
The 45-year-old, of Lennox Road North, Southsea, had been left in charge of the company’s finances by a fellow director, who had been signed off sick.
Appearing in the dock this morning, Chhapia, wearing a pink shirt and black trousers, admitted the offence and pleaded guilty.
Detailing the crime, prosecutor Lucy Linington said: ‘In a 41-day period this defendant has embezzled £1,133,704.50p.
‘I understand that £230,000 has been repaid by this defendant but that leaves the astonishing amount of £903,704.50p outstanding to the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance Limited.
‘The abuse of trust in this case is significant because this defendant was a director at the time.
‘Primarily, you have a significant amount of money that has been embezzled by this defendant.
‘It won’t surprise you to learn that the crown would say this matter should be submitted to the crown court.’
Magistrate Ryan Rutlidge committed the case to Portsmouth Crown Court for sentencing on October 22.
Addressing Chhapia, he said: ‘You have heard what’s been said today. We are committing you to Portsmouth Crown Court because this matter is so serious that we feel you need even greater punishment than we can give.’
Chhapia, formerly of good character with one driving offence to his name, was granted unconditional bail while a pre-sentencing report is prepared. He previously worked at the Portsdown Group Practice.