Husband and wife guilty of WorkSafe and TAC fraud

Thursday, 14 January, 2010

Two healthcare providers who committed fraud against WorkSafe and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) have been convicted and ordered to do 100 hours community work after billing for hundreds of treatment sessions that were not provided.

Registered psychologist Sandra Nguyen and her husband, registered osteopath Giuliano De Antonis, were convicted in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Nguyen falsely invoiced WorkSafe for almost 400 consultations. As a result, she obtained $50,684.12 to which she was not entitled. The alleged fraud against the TAC amounted to $14,770.

De Antonis falsely invoiced WorkSafe for almost 290 consultations. As a result, he obtained $12,400.87 to which he was not entitled. The alleged fraud against the TAC amounted to $2797.95.

Some of the alleged consultations by the couple happened when they were in Hawaii, Malaysia or interstate.

They were charged with obtaining financial advantage by deception, obtaining property by deception and fraudulently obtaining payments under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 and the Transport Accident Act 1986. Both have since repaid WorkSafe and the TAC the full amounts.

The Director of WorkSafe’s Compliance and Enforcement Division, David McQueen, said the case was a serious breach of trust by two health professionals: “This wasn’t a one-off or twice-off deception. It occurred over an extended period of time.

“Convictions for fraud are serious and can have enormous long-term professional and personal consequences. The vast majority of service providers for injured workers deliver reliable and high-quality services. Cases like these undermine the work of others in their profession and community confidence in the workplace injury insurance system.

“A number of cases are already before the courts or are under investigation. Identifying and prosecuting cases like this helps protect service providers, employers and workers, and maintains the integrity of Victoria’s workers compensation system.”

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