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DPP v Ryan [2023] VCC 1871

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.

Nature and Circumstances: Count 1 involved the claiming of false Medicare benefits totalling $81,228.20. In addition, count 2 involved offender making a further 13 false claims relating to 49 professional services and 16 bulk bill incentive payments in the total sum of $2,370.80. Those claims were not paid by Medicare. None of the money that was obtained as a result of the activity the subject of Charge 1 has been repaid. Offending involved a very considerable degree of planning, a very considerable degree of analysis and care to obtain and mis-use records of medical practitioners and of a very large number of patients who were entitled to their privacy. Offender exploited their position of trust in an extraordinary and sustained way for a little over a year.

Hardship: Offender meets the diagnoses of complex post-traumatic stress disorder and persistent depressive disorder. Those conditions are likely to make offender’s period of incarceration more onerous than for a person who did not have those conditions. There is a real risk that offender’s mental health will deteriorate further during their period of incarceration. Offender has an ovarian cyst. The fact that offender will have to go through surgery in less than ideal circumstances whilst in custody and that pain management may not be as well regulated as offender would ordinarily receive in the community. All of that goes to increase the burden on offender of the term of imprisonment.

Offender sentenced to 31 months of imprisonment to be released on recognisance of $2,500 after 12 months.

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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