Broke plastic surgeon leaves investors cash-strapped
A TOP Sydney plastic surgeon has gone bust leaving a patient he persuaded to invest in his business thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Dr Tobias Pincock's unravelling personal life has also seen him charged over an alleged assault on a 10-year-old boy, with an apprehended violence order telling him to keep away from the youngster. He has indicated he strongly denies the allegations and will defend the charge.
Documents seen by The Daily Telegraph show the eastern suburbs surgeon was declared bankrupt in January with almost $7 million debt. But his ex-wife claims he has deliberately tried to minimise the true size of his earnings.
Former patient Carolyn Tonkli was persuaded to take out a third mortgage to invest $330,000 in one of Dr Pincock's many businesses. She claims she is still owed half the money.
"I trusted him. He was my doctor and had operated on me four times, and also operated on my son," she said. "I feel such a fool."
Despite his money woes, according to the websites of the clinics Dr Pincock used to own in Bella Vista, it is business as usual. He still has top billing on the Taylor Clinic's plastic surgery site and at his own clinic.
The ear, nose and throat specialist has said he now works for his wife and business partner Dr Suzan Bekir at Norwest ENT. They live in a luxury house in Woollahra after last year selling their "grand manor home" in Bondi for $4.2 million.
His trustee in bankruptcy, David Solomons from de Vries Tayeh, told creditors: "Dr Pincock's earning capacity in the past has been significant."
But now the surgeon has taken a drastic cut in earnings to a salary of $250,000 a year - and according to documents that is less than the annual amount he has to pay his first wife and children.
The trustee said it was "reasonable to assume" Dr Pincock's ex-wife believed he went into bankruptcy to "thwart" and "frustrate" his obligation to pay up to $20,000 a month to her and their children. But Mr Solomons said: "The main cause of his bankruptcy was due to him having excessive finance commitments and a declining income."
The trustee said Ms Pincock claimed to have documents from another of the doctor's bank accounts "which casts serious doubt on Dr Pincock's disclosure that he expects to earn only $250,000" this year.
Dr Pincock's payments from Medicare are now being paid to his employer, which is a company connected to his new wife.
The doctor also paid almost $400,000 towards the refurbishment of a Noosa cocktail bar. But the trustee failed to track through the "myriad of trusts structures" to establish just how much of it Dr Pincock actually owned.
Two years ago Dr Pincock was "strongly reprimanded" for going ahead with a patient's nose job just 45 minutes after she had gone into cardiac arrest on his operating table. The NSW Medical Council's Professional Standards Committee found he failed to appreciate that the woman's "life was more important than her nose".
Dr Pincock declined to comment but it is understood he maintains all aspects of his bankruptcy are genuine.