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Bogus dentist still on the lam
A B.C. Supreme Court judge will give bogus dentist Tung Sheng "David" Wu one last chance to show up and respond to the allegations against him before making a decision Oct. 9.
Last month, Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen found Wu in contempt of a 2003 court order prohibiting him from practising dentistry, for which he is "neither qualified nor competent," says the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C., which is seeking the stiffest penalty available—a fine, jail time or both.
At the time, Cullen issued a warrant to have Wu appear in court.
But despite the college's investigative and legal costs of about $75,000 and another $52,000 in staff and operational costs in the case, Wu is still nowhere to be found.
The case began in the spring when a patient of Wu's complained about the treatment she received from him. The college's investigation found he had been operating a cut-rate dental office out of a bedroom of a house on Southwood Street in South Burnaby.
(The college stresses that his is not the same Dr. David H. Wu who formerly practised on Hastings Street in Burnaby, nor is he related to Dr. Tung-Yi Wu who currently practises on Cambie Street in Vancouver.)
A May 29 search by college and RCMP investigators found about 1,500 client files, which led to Fraser Health Authority issuing a health alert calling for anyone who had been treated by Wu to get tested for several infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis.
Since then, Wu has applied for and been issued a Taiwanese passport and a visa for China, which were found, along with a Canadian passport, among items in his 2013 Acura RDX SUV, which was seized by investigators, according to an affidavit by private investigator Michael Lantz.
The leased vehicle was in the process of being shipped to Toronto and potentially out of the country when investigators found it.
At the court hearing Tuesday, Cullen granted the college permission to return the SUV to its owner, Honda Canada.
Also found in the vehicle was dental equipment which investigators learned had gone missing from a training course in 2008. The college was given permission to return those items to their rightful owner.
The court hearing also put in motion potentially more trouble for the fugitive on a new front.
Cullen gave permission to the college to communicate with Canada Revenue Agency about financial records seized from Wu.
Those records, say court documents, show significant amounts of money, including deposits this year of more than $12,000 between Jan. 7 and May 14, and records of transfers of more than $30,000 to several accounts in China between Jan. 16 and April 6.
Meanwhile, the material includes a copy of Wu's 2011 income tax return "which indicates only a nominal amount of earnings."
The Oct. 9 court hearing will proceed whether or not Wu shows up. The college is hopeful the judge could finalize the conviction and decide on a sentence at that time.
The college says in court documents that it's clear that Wu knows he is being sought, noting he was present when the Southwood Street house was searched and was given materials supporting the search warrant. Those materials mentioned the college's intention to seek a contempt of court application.
In addition, there was significant media attention to the case and the private investigator discovered that Wu moved from his last-known address in August, only a month after signing a lease, without leaving a forwarding address. He also moved suddenly from an address in Coquitlam. And a woman connected to Wu, who investigators believe had been seen coming and going from her Port Coquitlam home, made unsuccessful attempts to get the keys to the Acura SUV before it was seized.
Even patients are having trouble tracking him down.
Lantz's affidavit mentions he spoke with a woman whose 10-year-old son was being fitted for a retainer by Wu. She had paid him $200 but when she arrived at his last-known address, he had already moved.
"The Defendant is elusive," said the college's lawyer, Brent Olthuis, in the documents.