A 'dishonest’ and ‘manipulative’ surgeon previously jailed for staged burglary and £1 million mortgage fraud has been ordered to repay ill gotten gains.

Surgeon Anthony McGrath has been ordered to repay the money he made illegally.

The 48-year-old, 48, of Clarence Road, St Albans, as jailed for eight years in January 2019, after a Bedfordshire Police investigation found he had attempted to swindle his insurance company out of £180,000 by staging a burglary at a house he and his wife were renting.

McGrath claimed almost 100 items had been stolen, including a Persian rug worth £35,000, valuable antiques and clocks, and a 19th century red marble rococo fire surround, with ormolu inserts.

The fake burglary then led police to uncover three counts of mortgage fraud. False tax returns in the couple’s name had been sent to the bank, and copies were discovered in their study, with Anthony McGrath’s finger-prints on them.

The investigation was later featured in an episode of the BAFTA-nominated documentary series 24 Hours in Police Custody.

After the initial police operation concluded, specialist financial investigators began enquiries to ensure McGrath was forced to repay his ill-gotten gains.

At a Luton Crown Court hearing on Friday, March 26, a judge found McGrath’s benefit to be £974,144, noting him to be a ‘thoroughly dishonest witness, quite prepared to manipulate and forge evidence and to tell lies in court’.

Under Proceeds of Crime Act legislation, he was ordered to repay the amount he currently has available, £564,518.97, comprising cash and antiques left to him from the estate of his parents in Ireland, a 50 per cent share of equity in his St Albans home, a car, and antiques, art and valuables.

McGrath must pay back the amount in full by June 26, or face an additional five years in prison and still need to pay the full amount.

Senior Financial Investigation Manager Paul Fitzsimmons said: “This was a complex investigation into a compulsive liar, determined to maintain his denial of involvement in any criminality in the face of clear and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

“Despite arguing he shouldn’t have to pay back a penny, McGrath was found by our specialist financial investigators to be in possession of assets worth significant sums, however he continued to once again waste significant police time and resources across an extended period to prolong the inevitable."

Detective Constable Dave Brecknock added: “Despite the complexities of the case, the motive was simple – this conniving and deceitful man intentionally broke the law in order to gain hundreds of thousands of pounds. But this goes to show that no matter who you are, how clever you think you might be, you cannot get away with breaking the law."