Eye surgeon fined $30k for misappropriating $450k due to a health care provider

Eye surgeon Marc Tay Tze-Hsin, 53, who hid nearly $450,000 in extra earnings from his employer, has been fined $30,000.Tay was also fined $2,000 for breaching the Companies Act. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Eye surgeon Marc Tay Tze-Hsin, 53, who hid nearly $450,000 in extra earnings from his employer, has been fined $30,000.Tay was also fined $2,000 for breaching the Companies Act. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A 53-year-old eye surgeon who hid nearly $450,000 in extra earnings from his employer has been fined $30,000. Marc Tay Tze-Hsin, a former national swimmer who was named Sportsboy of the Year in 1977, was also fined $2,000 for breaching the Companies Act.

A district court heard how his clinic, Tay Eye Surgery, was acquired by Pacific Healthcare Holdings in February 2001. It was subsequently renamed Pacific Healthcare Specialist Services (PHSS), in which he was a director.

Under the agreement, the opthalmologist was to hand over all generated income to PHSS, which would pay him an annual gross remuneration of $396,000, coupled with certain bonuses. In June 2005, he was invited to be a visiting consultant at The Lasik Clinic (LSC). PHSS knew about this and later agreed to be paid by LSC a monthly fee of $2,500 for work done by him.

But between December 2005 and December 2006, LSC paid Tay separate fees which he concealed from PHSS. The total amount involved was $445,874.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau seized $477,000 from his clinic.

His lawyer Lee Teck Leng said the money were professional fees for Lasik surgeries Tay personally did at LSC. He said this was not a case where someone else did the work, and Tay undeservingly kept the fees for himself.

Chief District Judge See Kee Oon decided to impose the maximum fine of $10,000 for each of the three charges of dishonestly misappropriating property which the opthalmologist admitted to, with eight others considered. The amount in the proceeded charges was $204,325.

He has made full restitution of $376,214 in February 2009. He is now with LSC.

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