Wednesday 8 July, 2020

‘Ochi’ woman who posed as dentist, pleads guilty to fraud in Bahamas

A Jamaican woman, who posed as an orthodontist, has pleaded guilty to 10 fraud-related charges in The Bahamas on Thursday.

The convict is 27-year-old Santini Kerr-Wilson of Bonham Spring in Ocho Rios, St Ann.

According to media reports in the Caribbean island, Wilson was charged with five counts of fraud by false pretense, one count of illegally using the title of orthodontist, one count of falsely advertising as a dentist, one count of practising as a dentist, one count of acquisition of the proceeds of criminal conduct in the amount of BSD$7,196 between February 26 and March 1, 2019, and one count of possessing BSD$7,196 on March 4, which has been deemed to be proceeds of criminal conduct.

Allegations were that Wilson, a mother of two and the owner of ‘Italian Braces’, posted an advertisement in February, stating that she specialised in providing cosmetic braces, as well as teeth whitening services and fillings, using the alias, ‘Nicole Wilson’, according to a Bahamian news report.

Following the publication of the advertisement, the Bahamas Dental Council President, Dr Sparkman Ferguson, was notified and he contacted the police immediately.

Police later located Wilson and confronted her at the Comfort Suites Hotel.

While searching her room, officers found documents which stated that her real name was Santini Kerr-Wilson, as well as a number of dental tools and over BSD$7,000 in cash.

It was also allegedly discovered by officers and Dr Ferguson, that the Jamaican had been authorised to sell products from the Italian Braces line, but not to perform dental procedures.

Following the development, Wilson produced documents and receipts relating to five clients for whom she had performed dental work and received cash payments of BSD$510 from each between February 26 and March 1, 2019.

In court on Thursday, Wilson pleaded guilty to all 10 charges before Magistrate Samuel McKinney.

The magistrate ordered the Jamaican to pay a total of BSD$9,050, including BSD$2,550 to be split between the five clients, with the remainder as fines, with an alternative of a total of four years in the custody of the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

Wilson will remain in custody until the fines are paid, according to media reports in The Bahamas.

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