Man jailed for avoiding payment to six dental clinics under guise of toilet break


SINGAPORE: On seven separate occasions, a man visited six different dental clinics to undergo procedures, including X-rays and root canal treatments.

After every procedure, he would make off without paying by excusing himself to a toilet located outside the clinic.

On June 12, Ryosuke Tanaka, 36, pleaded guilty to three charges of cheating amounting to just over S$4,780, and was sentenced to five months’ jail.

His lawyer Noelle Teoh, from Gloria James-Civetta & Co, had argued that there was no degree of planning or sophistication when he committed the offences, as his request to go to the washroom could have been easily rejected by the clinics.

During sentencing, Principal District Judge Jill Tan said that while Tanaka’s methods were not sophisticated, they were still premeditated.

There were four other similar charges that were taken into consideration.

The court heard that from 2020 to 2022, he had employed the same method at three different clinics to receive tooth extractions, X-rays and consultations worth a total of $2,222.55.

In his mitigation plea, Teoh said Tanaka had intended to leave without making payment, as he believed he would receive the invoices in the mail.

Tanaka, who is self-employed, had made full restitution of $7,004.38 to all the clinics involved, including the three clinics in the charges taken into consideration for sentencing, she added.

In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheronne Lim, who was seeking five to seven months jail, said most of the procedures that Tanaka went for were not straightforward services like regular cleaning.

He had undergone procedures including root canal and dental crown treatment, which were “almost semi-surgical” procedures, said the DPP.

For each count of cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , court , dentist , cheat , toilet


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