A doctor has been arrested on suspicion of helping to fabricate medical certificates in up to 30 fraudulent insurance claims.
The man, who is aged in his 50s and runs a medical practice in north Dublin, was arrested as part of a Garda investigation into some 200 fake insurance claims which were lodged with the help of a solicitors’ firm.
The firm, which has a presence in both Ireland and the UK, is suspected of working with medical doctors in Ireland to fabricate or embellish medical certificates detailing soft tissue injuries which never occurred.
These were then used to fraudulently claim money from insurance companies. In at least some cases, the claimants did not exist. In other cases the details listed in the claim were entirely false.
The doctor had allegedly helped to fabricate fraudulent medical certificates for at least a year and possibly much longer.
The investigation, which is being carried out by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), is part of Operation Fraction, which is targeting a network of legal, medical and other professionals believed to be involved in false insurance claims.
The operation was established following complaints to gardaí from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) which noticed some of the claims contained incorrect or suspicious details.
More arrests, including of medical professionals, are expected in the near future, sources said.
“It is alleged that approximately 200 insurance claims were made using false identities, false utility bills supported by false medical certificates,” according to a Garda spokesman.
It is understood some of these claims have already been paid out while others are currently before the courts.
The doctor was arrested by GNECB detectives on Friday morning “as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged fraudulent insurance claims,” a spokesman said.
He was arrested on suspicion of two categories of offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001; deception, which carries a maximum five year sentence and using a false instrument, which carries up to ten years in prison.
The suspect is being held for questioning in a north Dublin Garda station where he can be detained for up to 24 hours.
“Investigations are ongoing,” a spokesman said.