A former NSW pharmacist has been sentenced to more than six years’ imprisonment for his role in conspiring to defraud taxpayers more than $19 million through falsely claiming benefits under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The former pharmacist was sentenced before the Sydney Downing Centre District Court (17 June 2022) to six years and four months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years. In April 2021 a jury found the man guilty of conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth. He had been remanded in custody since that time.
The sentencing outcome shows the serious consequences of attempts by trusted health providers to defraud taxpayers.
This is the culmination of the strong collaboration between the Department of Health, the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, using information received via the Department’s tip-off hotline.
The Department of Health takes allegations of fraud and non-compliance by health providers very seriously.
We recognise that the overwhelming majority of health providers are aware of and comply with their obligations to claim benefits honestly and correctly.
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.
Anyone with information about suspected non-compliance or fraud of Government health payments by health providers can make a report via the “Reporting Fraud” page on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.gov.au/fraud-tip-offs or by calling the Provider Benefits Integrity Hotline on 1800 314 808.