Opticians on fraud charges accused of conducting prescriptions scam

A PAIR of opticians have been charged as part of a police investigation into an alleged prescription scam which could have cost the taxpayer as much as £150,000.

Iqbal Nabi, 37, and Helen James, 55, will appear in court today (Friday) accused of making fraudulent claims to the NHS after claims that New Global Visions – an opticians based in Robertson Street – had received cash for eye tests which were never actually carried out.

Between January and October 2009, police say the health service was billed for a host of phantom tests as well as for contact lenses and glasses with incorrect prescriptions – often when patients did not even need them.

The Observer reported at the time how hundreds of people here in 1066 Country were left wondering whether their glasses carried the correct lenses after New Global Visions shut suddenly, and some elderly readers left without glasses even staged a demonstration outside the store.

Police charged Nabi, of Slough, and James, of Dunstable, Bedfordshire, with £5,000 worth of fraud but the NHS Counter Fraud Service investigators believe the full extent of the alleged con could run to around £150,000.

The pair were bailed and will appear at Hastings Magistrates Court this morning.