A former pharmacist found guilty of rorting the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme with false claims worth millions will spend at least four years in prison.
The NSW District Court has sentenced a Sydney man for making $19 million worth of false claims to the PBS, following a tip-off about the man’s activities to the Department of Health’s reporting hotline.
The fraud was uncovered by an AFP investigation in collaboration with Health and the commonwealth director of public prosecutions.
“The department has a strong health provider compliance program that protects the integrity of Australia’s health payments system through the prevention, identification and treatment of incorrect claiming and fraud,” a statement from the department said.
“Health takes allegations of fraud and non-compliance by health providers very seriously.”
A jury found the health provider guilty of conspiring to defraud the commonwealth last April, and on June 17 the court handed down a sentence of six years and four months imprisonment. He will serve a non-parole period of four years.
“The sentencing outcome shows the serious consequences of attempts by trusted health providers to defraud taxpayers,” the department said, adding the majority of health providers were compliant with PBS obligations and made honest claims.
People with information about suspected non-compliance or fraud of government health payments should visit www.health.gov.au/fraud-tip-offs or call 1800 314 808.
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Melissa Coade is a senior journalist at The Mandarin.
Departments: Australian Federal Police Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Department of Health
Tags: crime Criminal law Fraud health provider non-compliance NSW PBS pharmaceutical benefits scheme pharmacist provider benefits integrity hotline sentencing taxpayer money
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By Melissa Coade
Department of Health
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