HARLEY STREET DOCTOR TO THE STARS JAILED FOR WALLET FRAUD
A Harley Street doctor who treated filmstars and footballers' wives has been jailed for two and a half years for fraud and perverting the course of justice.
Abdul Choudhuri, 41, of Park Terrace, The Park, Nottingham, was fouind guilty unanimously of fraud after he claimed a lost wallet in Starbucks coffee shop in South Parade, Nottingham, was his.
The wallet had actually been left behind by Singaporean tourist Kenny Quek, who had been in the same branch of Starbucks at 4pm on Monday, October 4, 2010, to use the wifi and have a drink.
After leaving without his wallet containing £2,500 in £50 notes and a $1,000 Singaporean note (worth about £500).
Choudhuri's wife had handed Mr Quec's wallet in to staff then Choudhuri claimed the wallet as his own, giving a detailed description to shop manager Lisa Wright about the wallet and how much money was in it.
Mr Quec later realised his wallet was missing and returned to Starbucks at 7pm that night to claim it but was told it had already been given back to who staff believed was the rightful owner, an Asian male.
The loss of the wallet was reported to police but no one was arrested until Sunday November 7 when Choudhuri and his wife and child returned to Starbucks and he was recognised by the same manager as the man who had originally claimed the missing wallet.
She called police and Choudhuri was arrested.
Despite denying the allegations, he was found guilty after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court Judge Jonathan Teare gave him two months for the fraud and 30 months concurrently for two charges of perverting the course of justice.
Choudhuri had tried to dupe his Derby-based accountant Waheed Rehman into believing that they had had a meeting in the afternoon, at the same time that he would have been in Starbucks when the wallet was claimed.
The court heard that he tried to convince him by email and by CCTV he downloaded onto his iPhone that his accountant was wrong about the time of the meeting and that they had in fact met later that day and not at 10.30am.
The talented doctor whose clients included footballers' wives, filmstars and members of foreign royalty, had clinics in Harley Street and Mapperley, then tracked down Ms Wright and tried to derail the trial that was due to take place in January by pretending to be from witness services and claiming by phone that the trial had been cancelled and would be rescheduled.
But his plan to stop the case taking place did not work because police and real witness care workers found out that the call was a hoax and proceedings were adjourned to investigate this incident. The trial was relisted this month.
Choudhuri was found guilty of perverting the course of justice in relation to Mr Rehman and Ms Wright because the judge said what he had done was deliberate and planned.
The judge ordered that Mr Quec should receive compensation for the money he lost and that Choudhuri - who holds a £1m property portfolio - should pay prosecution costs of £23,395.
The judge said that he will face the General Medical Council and disciplinary proceedings.
Judge Teare said that the doctor had been convicted on overwhelming evidence by a jury.
"You are a man who has come a long way in life from the humble beginnings you have told us about to the position that you arrived in 2010.
"You are the only person in your comprehensive school to receive a university education and passed out highly from Liverpool University medical faculty.
"You became a GP and then developed a private practice.
"I take account of the fact you were treating for free those who could not afford it, but also footballer's wives, filmstars, celebrities and members of foreign royalty."
He added that Choudhuri was making a lot of money from his various practices, but that when he spotted the wallet "the pound signs lit up in his eyes and greed overtook him".
[Nottingham Post, Thursday, 12 September 2013]
NOTE: See 'Landlords Thrown Out for Breaching Student Housing Code', article by Bryan Henesey, Nottingham Post, Monday, 18 October 2010, reproduced in Part II of the 2010-2012 magazine of the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs (Part II: Nottingham & Neighbourhood).