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DPP v Alimic [2022] VCC 819

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 5 counts of producing false or misleading documents, 2 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception from a Commonwealth entity and 2 counts of attempting to dishonestly obtain a financial advantage by deception from a Commonwealth entity contrary to the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

Nature and Circumstances: Offender lodged 5 false Medicare claims supported by tax invoices which had been fabricated and contained false information as to anaesthetic services provided. Offender dishonestly obtained $13,322 from Medicare and attempted to dishonestly obtain a further $9,103. While offending occurred over a very short period and in circumstances where the offender reported their conduct to Medicare, it cannot be considered to be trivial. The amount of money dishonestly obtained or sought to be dishonestly obtained totalled over $20,000 and is a significant sum of money. Money dishonestly obtained has not been repaid.

Guilty Plea: Offender alerted authorities to their own criminal conduct, which may have gone unnoticed in the absence of the offender taking that action. Plea was entered at the earliest opportunity and has significant utilitarian value. Plea, especially considered in light of the offender’s unsolicited reporting of their offending and extensive admissions in their record of interview, is both indicative of genuine remorse and a willingness to facilitate the course of justice. Substantial discount is warranted.

Delay: Offending was five and a half years ago. Offender has undergone a lengthy period of rehabilitation and suffered a considerable burden of having this matter hanging over their head for an extended period of time. Offender’s mental health has suffered as a result of awaiting the outcome of these legal proceedings.

Offender released without proceeding to conviction, upon entering a good behaviour bond in the sum of $500 for a period of 9 months. S 19B of Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) satisfied given offender’s guilty plea, cooperation, contrition, delay, the absence of any prior or subsequent criminal history and 109 days spent on remand, which is a significantly punitive period far exceeding any penalty which might otherwise have been imposed.
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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