Fraud costs NSW pharmacist two years in jail

A NSW pharmacist has been sentenced to two years imprisonment yesterday after pleading guilty to defrauding taxpayers of almost $290,000.

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NSW pharmacist Felix Chan has been sentenced to two years imprisonment yesterday by the Queanbeyan District Court after pleading guilty to defrauding taxpayers of almost $290,000 by lodging false Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) claims.

Mr Chan was found to have made 99 false or misleading PBS claims between 1 January 2018 and 31 July 2020 for the supply of pharmaceutical benefits which were not provided to patients.

Appearing in court on 29 August 2022, Mr Chan pleaded guilty to three counts of offences resulting in a fraud value of $288,595. The pharmacist has since repaid the entire amount.

This outcome is a culmination of the strong collaboration between the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), after investigating information obtained using the department’s tip-off line.

In the past 12 months, the department has received a significant number of tip-offs of suspected non-compliance or fraud of Government health payments. It shows that Australians are willing call out those in the health care sector who try to defraud taxpayers. 

The Department of Health and Aged Care takes allegations of Medicare non-compliance by health care providers very seriously and all tip-offs are examined in accordance with the Department’s compliance assessment procedures.

The Department has a strong health provider compliance program that’s protects Australia’s health payments system through the prevention, identification and treatment of incorrect claiming and fraud by health care suppliers.

Any concerns can be referred to the Department’s tip-off form at www.health.gov.au/fraud-tip-offs and will be reviewed.

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