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Saturday, June 23, 2012
Birmingham dentist Joyce Trail claimed for dead patients in £1.4m NHS fraud.
A Birmingham dentist conned the NHS out of £1.4 million by making thousands of false claims for treating patients, including dozens for people who were dead, a jury has heard.
Dr Joyce Trail, who is standing trial alongside her sister and daughter, is alleged to have used the proceeds of the scam to fund a globe-trotting and free-spending lifestyle.
Dr Trail, 50, her daughter Nyri Sterling, 33, and sister Fiona Trail, 46, all deny conspiring to defraud the NHS between April 2006 and March 2009.
Opening the case at the start of what is expected to be a five-week trial, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC alleged the fraud at Dr Trail's practice in Handsworth involved more than 7,000 claims backed up by false paperwork.
Miss Moore told Birmingham Crown Court: "Dr Trail claimed and was paid a great deal for treatment she had not performed - not just a few claims, not just a few clerical errors but something in the order of £1.4 million of false claims.
"The others (Fiona Trail and Sterling) both worked in the administration side of the practice and they assisted her in running this substantial fraud.
"We say you will be convinced that her sister and daughter played a part in this fraud, for which they were rewarded."
False lab dockets and invoices relating to dentures allegedly being supplied to residents in care homes are said to have been used to perpetrate the fraud.
Dr Trail, of Park Drive, Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield, Fiona Trail, of Belle Vale, Halesowen, West Midlands, and Sterling, of Ashwood Close, Oldbury, face one count of conspiracy to defraud.
Dr Trail and her sister also deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice in April 2009 as NHS investigators gathered evidence.