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DPP (Cth) v Beitner [2023] VCC 1893

See full judgment: Austlii.

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 2 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception from a Commonwealth entity by submitting false claims to Medicare Australia for medical services which were not provided.

Nature and Circumstances: Offending related to 212 false bulk billed claim batches for rebates to Medicare. The claims related to the provision of 5,108 medical services to 330 individual patients between 31 January 2011 and 28 February 2016. In total offender obtained $318,435.35 in Medicare benefits to which they were not entitled. This is serious offending. The amount of the fraud, however, has been fully recovered. 

Physical and Mental Condition: Offender is 78 and a half years of age. Offender was diagnosed with type II diabetes 20 years ago. The condition is controlled with diet and medications however offender has, over these years, physically deteriorated. Offender suffered a serious heart attack in May 2018 for which they were hospitalised. In 2019 offender was diagnosed with aggressive high-grade bladder cancer and underwent resection surgery and treated with immunotherapy. Offender’s physical health is critically compromised and would be unlikely to be effectively managed in custody. Offender is diagnosed with dementia and major depressive disorder. The second, fifth and sixth principles in Verdins are engaged.

Offender sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment to be released immediately on recognizance of $3,000.

The CSD acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the traditional owners and pay respects to Elders past and present.

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