Leicester

£1m fraudster ex-dentist John Hammond jailed

John Hammond Image copyright Leicester Mercury
Image caption John Hammond, who pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation and money laundering in January, has been jailed for six years

A former dentist who conned patients out of more than £1m has been sentenced to six years in prison.

John Hammond duped 22 patients at the former Park House Dental Practice, in Loughborough, Leicestershire, into investing into a non-existent property scheme.

The 69-year-old, now of Oakwood Drive, in Clydach, Swansea, falsely promised them a lucrative return.

He pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Hammond, formerly of Wymeswold, in Leicestershire, appeared at Leicester Crown Court via video link.

His scam was uncovered after one victim exposed him on the BBC One programme The Sheriffs are Coming, which highlights rogue traders, the court heard.

Prosecutors said Hammond targeted long-standing patients and promised them guaranteed loans and profitable returns with 10% interest.

Many of his victims described him as "robbing Peter to pay Paul" targeting new patients to pay off interest of earlier clients.

One victim David Smith said: "One elderly lady of 93 was duped out of £60,000, she needed that money for a care home and it just never happened."

'Greedy and manipulative'

Prosecutor Kevin Barry said Hammond used the proceeds of his fraud for his own personal use rather than to invest in commercial properties as promised to the investors.

"He used it to fund a standard of living his victims could only dream of; expensive school fees, lavish holidays for the whole of his extended family and a mortgage for his son," Mr Barry said.

In a statement, Det Sgt Mark Tuttle, of Leicestershire Police, said: "Hammond was in a position of trust and he abused his position for his own personal gain, he had no regard for his patients and targeted those who he believed may be able to invest large amounts of money.

"He is a greedy and manipulative individual who didn't care about the effect his actions would have on the victims, some of whom were elderly."

The court heard, Hammond had a debt of over £5m after he was declared bankrupt in 2013.

In June 2015, Hammond was struck off as a dentist by the General Dental Council for professional malpractice relating to work he carried out at the Loughborough practice.

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