Jail for medical aid fraudsters

Limpopo - Three fraudsters who scammed Bonitas medical scheme out of almost R1.3m have been sentenced after being convicted of a total of 1 448 fraud charges.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke on Tuesday said the Limpopo trio - Ramokatse Joel Mokonoto, 61, Paulos Maseka, 63, and Gezani John Baloyi, 55 - had claimed to be medical technologists and that they were qualified to perform tests through referrals between 1997 and 1999.

"The three connived and submitted claim forms of tests that were never conducted to the medical aid scheme. As the investigation progressed, it was revealed that accused Maseka and Baloyi at no time had a registered laboratory to conduct any tests. Mokonoto owned a private lab, but also sent fake claims," he said.

Bonitas "noted something didn't add up" and reported the claims to the Hawks in December 1999, Maluleke said.

An investigation spanning several years was launched, culminating in Mokonoto's arrest in Gauteng and Maseka and Baloyi in Limpopo.

Mokonoto was recently convicted of 684 counts of fraud in the Seshego Regional Court and sentenced to nine years behind bars while Maseka and Baloyi were both found guilty of 764 counts of fraud, for which they were each handed a 10-year prison sentence.

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