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Insurance Scamming Vet Uncovered

Vet insurance scamInsurance Price recently covered the latest ‘flash for cash’ car insurance scam, but fraudulent road users are not the only ones abusing the system. A veterinary surgeon, Francisco Cruz, has been caught in the act. He was running an elaborate insurance scam, creating fake animals and claiming to have operated on them. None of these animals ever existed and none of his claims were legitimate. Cruz, formerly of Field View Close, Exhall, conned insurers, saying he had saved the lives of a multitude of dying animals, none of which ever existed. The insurance scam was used to fuel Cruz’s addiction to online shopping.

Cruz appeared in court and made no attempts to deny the charges, appealing guilty to 5 counts of fraud by false representation and was awarded a suspended prison sentence. The case was heard by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. However, Cruz never turned up – it is believed that he is now residing in Brazil. Cruz’s move also means that he’s dodged the community service that was issued by the authorities. Professor Peter Lees, chairman of the disciplinary committee, said: “The committee has no real confidence that there is no significant risk of repeat behaviour from the respondent. His conduct subsequent to the criminal proceedings gives us no confidence that he has reformed himself to the extent that he will, in the foreseeable future, be fit to return to practice."

Lees added: “So far from satisfactorily completing his criminal sentence, it appears that the respondent has deliberately gone abroad to avoid doing so. In the end, the committee has come to the conclusion that the seriousness of these offences, which are at the high end of the scale for the reasons set out in its previous decision, make it inevitable that the proper sanction is that it should direct his removal from the register. Nothing less would be adequate to uphold the reputation of the profession and maintain public confidence in it.” Cruz’s lies involved telling his insurer that he saved the lives of a Dalmatian, two mongrels and a cat after that had become ill after eating plastic toys. Cruz made all of his insurance claims while he was working at a veterinary surgery in Norfolk over 4 years between 2008 and 2012. Cruz took out a number of insurance policies in the names of his family and friends and using these fake policies to make fraudulent claims. He eventually slipped up when he told a new insurer that he had undertaken an operation on a dog costing £2,705. The insurer flagged his claim as fake and carried out an investigation.

James Savery, 28 August 2013

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