A hospital consultant who exploited colleagues by acting as a loan shark has been ordered to repay £525,000 to nurses and cleaners — or face five years behind bars.
Dr Arjan Savani, 50, ran an illegal money-lending business from two hospitals where he worked, targeting colleagues in the Filipino community.
He knew his victims could ill afford the payments and was aware that the Filipino community places a great deal of importance on honour — making the non-repayment of a debt shameful, a court heard.
Between January 2011 and his arrest in December 2015, he worked at Central Middlesex and Northwick Park hospitals in Harrow.
The doctor, who lives in Kenton, was ordered to pay back £525,000 in proceeds of crime when he appeared at Harrow crown court on Friday. He was sentenced to 10 months in jail, suspended for two years, last October.
He must now pay the money within three months or face a default sentence of five years in prison. He was investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team, who worked with Brent council and the police.
In December 2015, the IMLT seized loan records which showed he had received payments totalling £525,000. Dr Savani admitted issuing loans ranging from £500 to £50,000. He said he knew he was acting illegally but felt it would take too long to get a licence.
Tony Quigley, head of service for the IMLT, said: “Dr Savani is just the latest loan shark who has found that illegal money-lending will be tackled head on in our area.”
London North West Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Following an internal investigation Dr Savani was dismissed by the trust earlier this year.”
The General Medical Council said he is suspended from practising and under investigation. A fitness to practise hearing is set to be held in due course.