A practicing Doncaster taekwando teacher has pleaded guilty to one count of fraud after failing to pay for the insurance of students in his care for two years.
Michael Kontomatis, who has run the Mike Kontomatis School of Martial Arts in the town for more than 15 years, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on June 6 charged with two counts of fraud by false representation.
Kontomatis was given a conditional discharge for two years for the first count, and was ordered to pay back a total of £805 in compensation.
The second count of fraud was dismissed.
Pupils and parents at Kontomatis’ school paid for insurance, which is a legal requirement, with their lessons.
Speaking after the sentencing, Kontomatis said he ‘held his hands up’ to his mistake. He said: “It was a genuine mistake. I really thought that the insurance was still being paid because WAKO (World Association of
Kickboxing Organizations) were still taking money from me.
“My pupils were always covered because the centre itself had insurance. But at the end of the day the onus was on me to make sure the insurance was in order and as it should be - and it wasn’t and that’s my fault.
“During the time I wasn’t insured I was still dealing with WAKO and they didn’t tell me at any point that the insurance had expired during those two years- and I thought that they would have done, like I’m sure a car insurance company would if your insurance had expired with them.
“Once I’d realised my mistake I held a meeting and told all the parents and pupils and everyone what had happened - and offered to pay back everyone what I owed them. But when I got to the meeting the group was split into two; with one group who were willing to talk to me and work it out there and then and another who weren’t which is why I had to go to court. Since it happened I feel like I’ve been the subject of a witch hunt - my parents have had their windows smashed in and all kinds of things have been said about me on social media.
“I just want to finish paying the money I owe and get on with my life.”
A number of frustrated parents, whose children have attended classes with Kontomatis, have contacted the press to express their disappointment at his ‘betrayal’.
One parent, who wishes to remain anonymous said: “My husband and I have been completely disgusted by the fraud and deception Mike Kontomatis commited against us and more importantly our children for over two years of the time they attended his martial arts school.
“Many of the parents involved have known Mike for more than 20 years, and trusted him with the safety and wellbeing of their children.”