Doctor denies 'framing' medical practice manage Ashok Patel
A doctor has denied "framing" his medical practice manager by instigating a £60,000 fraud investigation.
Dr Jatin Patel told Leicester Crown Court police were alerted after discrepancies were discovered in the accounts at Highfields Health Centre, in the city, in August 2010.
Dr Patel, a senior partner at the centre, said Ashok Patel, the practice manager, was responsible for the finances and failed to explain why the centre was in dire straits.
Under cross-examination, the doctor denied a defence suggestion he had "stitched up and framed" the defendant as an excuse to get rid of him.
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Ashok Patel (54), of Blundell Road, Evington, denies four counts of fraudulently using his employers' cheques, between March 2008 and July 2010.
He is alleged to have breached his £55,000-a-year position to misappropriate £60,000 of funds by paying health centre cheques directly into personal bank accounts and using them to withdraw cash for himself.
In court, Balraj Bhatia, defending, said: "The reason this investigation was instigated was to ease your way to get rid of him. He's been stitched up and framed."
Dr Patel said the defendant failed to provide any answers when summoned to a meeting in August 2010.
The doctor said: "We've been stitched up and defrauded.
"How could we be stitching him up? We were paying him £55,000 and we were still willing to employ him as long as he satisfied us with inquiries."
The trial continues.