A Pharmacist and Practice Manager from across Australia were sentenced last week after fraudulently claiming more than $470,000 in payments under the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The below outcomes are a culmination of a strong collaboration between the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).
Victoria – 2 February 2023 – Carson Au
Victorian pharmacy practitioner Carson Au was sentenced to two years imprisonment after having made 76 false PBS claims between 25 February 2018 and 20 September 2019.
Au received PBS payments in the amount of $110,461.68 to which he was not entitled.
He was sentenced to two years imprisonment commencing on the 2 February 2023 and will serve eight months in custody before being released on a $5,000 Good Behaviour Bond of two years.
All monies owed by Mr Au have been repaid.
New South Wales – 3 February 2023 – Amanda Leigh Blackburn
Former practice manager Amanda Blackburn of St Clair was sentenced to a maximum of four years imprisonment with a minimum two years to be served by the Parramatta District Court after pleading guilty to defrauding taxpayers of almost $315,000 by lodging false MBS claims.
Ms Blackburn was found to have made 3,915 false or misleading MBS claims for 6,897 services between 26 March 2014 and 1 February 2021 that were not actually provided to patients.
A Restitution Order was issued by the Court for $314,253.60
The Department of Health and Aged Care takes allegations of Medicare non-compliance very seriously and all tip-offs are reviewed.
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.