By A Correspondent| In a surprising turn of events, Mike Joka, the founder and CEO of Corporate 24 Medical Centre, alongside company representative Naison Muza, appeared before a Harare magistrate yesterday on charges of defrauding Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) of a staggering ZW$108,860 in 2021.
During the court hearing before Magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa, the accused were granted bail of ZW$500,000, a decision that has raised eyebrows in the community.
Their legal counsel, Levious Mundieta, is now tasked with mounting a defense against the allegations.
The case unfolded when PSMAS engaged the services of Forensic RBG Auditors to conduct an extensive audit spanning from 2015 to 2022. Shockingly, the auditors uncovered multiple instances of fraudulent activities.
According to the court documents, Corporate 24 Medical Centre allegedly devised a cunning plan to deceive PSMAS through the submission of fraudulent claims.
The accused allegedly provided non-emergency medical services to various PSMAS members but invoiced for unnecessary procedures using different codes, which were designed to exempt patients from any charges.
Trusting the false representation, PSMAS reportedly made payments to Joka’s bank accounts, resulting in substantial losses for the health insurer.
The state contends that PSMAS suffered a direct financial prejudice of ZW$108,860.91, and no funds have been recovered to date.
Although the court papers did not specify the value of the alleged fraud in US dollars at the time, a brief internet search indicates that during the relevant period, the US dollar was valued at just over ZWL$6.
This calculation suggests that the amount involved in the scam surpassed US$18,000.
This scandalous case has sent shockwaves through the medical community, as patients and medical aid members express concerns over the integrity of the healthcare system.
As the trial proceeds, all eyes will be on the courtroom, awaiting justice to be served and the recovery of the ill-gotten funds.