Portsmouth GP admits embezzling £1.1m from care group

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Portsmouth Magistrates' CourtImage source, Google
Image caption,
Rumi Chhapia appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on Wednesday

A GP has admitted embezzling £1.1m from a care group he was a director of.

Dr Rumi Chhapia, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court.

Chhapia, of Lennox Road South, Southsea, was a director of Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance (PPCA) when he moved money from its account to his, between 20 August to 30 September 2020.

He will be sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court on 22 October.

'Reassure patients'

Prosecutor Lucy Linington said Chhapia had repaid £233,000 but added almost £904,000 was still outstanding after the "significant" fraud.

Jo York, managing director at NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, said it was working with the PPCA, Hampshire Constabulary and NHS Counter Fraud Authority on the "serious matter".

She added: "We would like to reassure patients that the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance continues to operate as normal without disruption to the out-of-hours and home visiting services provided to the Portsmouth community."

The PPCA is a collection of GP practices working together in and around Portsmouth.

"At the time of this offence, a director was signed off sick and therefore gave Dr Chhapia the freedom and the permission, at that stage, to have access to the business accounts of the PPCA," Ms Linington added.

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