(Trinidad Guardian) The owner of a popular weight loss clinic in T&T was detained by police yesterday in connection with a fraud investigation.
The T&T Guardian was told that the 40-year-old doctor was at her St James clinic when she was visited by the officers.
She was told of the allegations made against her, warned that they were deemed of a serious nature and then handcuffed and taken to the Fraud Squad Unit’s offices at the corner of Park and Richmond Streets in Port-of-Spain.
According to a source at the Fraud Squad Unit, officers received information from a patient who claimed that over $25,000 in cash and cheques was paid to the doctor for a liposuction procedure. However, the patient alleged the procedure was never done and the patient never got a refund. The source added that there were four other similar cases filed against the clinic that were previously filed.
In a statement last evening, manager of Corporate Communications of the T&T Police Service, Ellen Lewis, confirmed the doctor was detained yesterday morning by officers of the Fraud Squad in connection with the fraud allegations that were reported to them. Specifically, Lewis said the allegations surround allegedly tendering fraudulent cheques and receiving monies for services not rendered.
But a close friend of the doctor, who wished not to be identified, yesterday told the T&T Guardian that there was the belief among staff that there is a hidden agenda in the case.
“We believe that because she is becoming popular and expanding her business that there are people who are just envious and want to see her and her business go down. Over the years there have been several allegations made against her, but they have all proven either accidental or just mischievous work,” the friend said.
“In the past, the doctor had disgruntled workers who attempted to report her and bring her down but they failed in the end. We stand by her as she also has many, many successful stories and patients, who I am sure will come out in her defence.”
Lewis said the head of the Fraud Squad is also asking members of the public who may have any information or allegations against the owner to come forward and assist them or contact the Fraud Squad office immediately.
In 2013, health authorities in Barbados, where the company also has a branch, investigated its operations after action was taken against its franchise by the Barbados Police and Barbados Drug Service. A raid on the clinic was done and an undisclosed amount of allegedly questionable drugs were seized. It was also discovered that the clinic was not registered with the Barbados Medical Council.
Last month, the T&T arm of the clinic was the recipient of an international award for quality.