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Dental practice manager invents 103 fictitious claims

ACC Media Release

30 May 2014

Dental practice manager invents 103 fictitious claims to defraud ACC

Daniel David Pickford, aged 27 of Green Bay, Auckland, was sentenced to six months’ community detention and 120 hours’ community work in the Auckland District Court yesterday, after he defrauded ACC of $151,584.99 while working as a dental practice manager.

Pickford was sentenced by Judge Ryan, after he pleaded guilty and was convicted of one representative charge of causing a loss by deception.

Full reparation was made to ACC prior to sentencing of all funds fraudulently obtained.

Pickford’s offending was largely carried out between August 2011 and May 2012, while he managed two dental practices in New Lynn and St Lukes, Auckland.

As practice manager, Pickford had authority to deal with all funds and make all payments on behalf of the practices’ owner, who was not involved in the offending.

Pickford submitted 103 entirely fictitious claims to ACC, and he also added or altered treatment codes on a number of genuine claims, so he could invoice ACC for services not actually provided.

The offending was uncovered after Pickford’s employer noticed irregularities in the practices’ financial records, and alerted ACC immediately.

ACC’s General Manager of Claims Management, Sid Miller, says “ACC relies on information provided to us by health professionals and their staff.

“Fortunately, this type of offending is a relatively rare occurrence, and it was reassuring in this instance to be alerted by the practice owner, as soon as financial irregularities were uncovered.”

Mr Miller adds that “ACC has a dedicated Investigations Unit, which follows up all tip-offs received about possible fraud. The unit is committed to ensuring appropriate action is taken when anyone is found to be defrauding ACC.”

ENDS

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