A dentist broke down in tears as a jury today found him not guilty of submitting false claims for patient treatments and stealing money from a primary care trust.
Dr Mohammed Ashraf, 43, of Greenroyd Avenue, Halifax, was arrested back in January 2009 during an inquiry into the allegations which arose from work at his dental practice based at Great Horton Road in Bradford.
The bogus or inflated claims Dr Ashraf was alleged to have submitted between 2006 and 2008 were said to have cost the NHS about £10,000.
He was also alleged to have stolen a further £1,600 from the Bradford and Airedale Primary Care Trust by failing to submit a batch of 91 patient treatment forms.
But at the end of his trial at Bradford Crown Court the jury returned not guilty verdicts on two charges of making false representations and one of theft after about seven hours of deliberation.
Following his acquittal Dr Ashraf’s lawyer Imran Younis, of Hurrairah Harris Solicitors, issued a statement on his client’s behalf.
“Dr Ashraf is overwhelmed with emotion and not in a position to make a statement at this stage,” he said.
“The three years during which the NHS counter fraud services investigated and prosecuted this case have taken their toll on Dr Ashraf and his family.
“The jury’s verdict in acquitting him of any wrong doing are a vindication of his innocence.
“Dr Ashraf was falsely accused for dishonesty and the jury’s verdicts prove that the case should never have been brought again him.
“He has remained in practice throughout this trying time and continues to serve his patients many of whom provided testimonials and letters of support in the trial,” Mr Younis said.