Indian-origin man jailed in Singapore for cheating to get medical treatment

Instead of registering as himself, Mohandas pretended to be his brother and an acquaintance, who ended up being charged for his medical bills 17 times.

Singapore: A 42-year-old Indian-origin man has been sentenced to six weeks jail in Singapore for impersonation multiple times to get medical treatment in hospitals and polyclinics across the city state.

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On Monday, Logeswaran Mohandas pleaded guilty to six charges, including five for cheating by personation, The Straits Times reported.

Instead of registering as himself, Mohandas pretended to be his brother and an acquaintance, who ended up being charged for his medical bills 17 times.

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Mohandas, who was getting treatment for back pain, had another 19 charges, most of them for similar offences, taken into consideration in his sentencing.

The court heard that Mohandas impersonated his brother on nine occasions at the National University Hospital (NUH) between May 1, 2018, and September 16, 2019, and incurred bills totalling SG$945.35, including an SG$430 bill for an MRI scan.

After receiving bills from NUH, his brother made a police report on February 10, 2020.

In another case of impersonation, Mohandas contacted an acquaintance in 2015 and asked for a copy of his identity card and name card on the pretext of getting him a job as a transport contractor in a hotel, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chan Yi Cheng told the court.

However, he did not contact the acquaintance with any job opportunities with the hotel after the latter sent him his identity proofs.

Instead, he visited Alexandra Hospital and Changi General Hospital, as well as the polyclinics in Bedok, Bukit Merah, Geylang, Queenstown and Outram, on eight occasions between April 29, 2016, and March 6, 2018.

He gave his acquaintance’s Identity card number to the staff for registration, and then consulted the doctor for his back pain and was given medication.

The acquaintance received multiple letters informing him of the outstanding medical bills amounting to SG$421.74, following which he alerted the police.

According to the news report, while Mohandas has repaid his brother via instalments, his acquaintance did not wish for any restitution.

Defence lawyer Danny Nah said in mitigation that his client suffered a slipped disc following a holiday in India, and his offences involving the hospitals was to seek relief for the pain and not capital gains.

He added that his client had various other health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

In his judgement, District Judge Lim Tse Haw said the totality of Mohandas’ conduct justified a jail term even though the amount in each charge involving cheating the hospitals was small.

For each charge of cheating by personation, Mohandas could have been jailed for up to five years and fined.

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