Two dentists who swindled more than A$170,000 from an Australian health insurer by claiming they carried out more than 1000 fillings on one family member have lost an appeal against their convictions.
Anil Sharma and Priya Agrawal were found guilty by a Brisbane District Court jury in December of defrauding Medibank Private through their practice, Lifeline Dental.
Their trial heard the de facto couple claimed they carried out 1915 dental treatments on Sharma's mother between June and November 2011.
The purported treatments included 1104 "five-surface" fillings, 301 other fillings, 14 teeth extractions, 260 radiographs, 181 pulp tests and 17 bleaches.
The court heard that a five-surface filling was an uncommon filling in which all five surfaces of the tooth were filled.
A total of US$376,725 worth of claims were submitted to the insurer, of which US$177,900 were paid out.
Experts testified that many of the treatments were either excessive, unreasonable or impossible to carry out.
Some treatments were also carried out on teeth supposedly previously extracted.
Sharma and Agrawal claimed at trial the other was responsible for the fraud but evidence showed it was highly unlikely either could have been ignorant in a two-person business.
The pair was also noted to have started spending the profits of their previously loss-making practice and Sharma and his mother suddenly left the country in November.
The court heard the insurance company became suspicious of Agrawal in December 2011 after she tried to claim treatments supposedly carried out on her parents, including 187 five-surface fillings on her mother.
Sharma and Agrawal lost an appeal against their convictions in the Queensland Court of Appeal today and Agrawal was also denied leave to appeal her six-year jail sentence.
Sharma did not seek to appeal his six-year jail sentence and will be eligible for parole in June 2019. Agrawal's parents and Sharma's mother are not accused of wrongdoing.