A Melbourne registered pharmacist must now come up with more than $16,000 after he was found to have provided false information to WorkSafe Victoria.
Erric Dimatos of Bundoora Midnight Pharmacy was fined in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, the first time a pharmacist has been successfully prosecuted for offences under Victoria’s Accident Compensation Act 1985.
The Court heard that between 2004 and 2005 Dimatos provided pharmaceutical products to three injured workers in relation to their workers compensation claims.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
During that period he provided receipts and invoices falsely stating that the injured workers had paid for the pharmaceutical products. However, they had not.
It was found that Dimatos provided approximately 20 false invoices to WorkSafe for payment. As a result, he obtained $9141 to which he was not entitled.
Dimatos pleaded guilty to seven charges of providing false information to WorkSafe. He was fined $7s000 and was ordered to repay $9141.
Magistrate Marc Sargent said there was no doubt that Dimatos took active steps to get reimbursements he was not entitled to and circumvented proper procedures.
“Pharmacists are trusted members of the community and a profession which ranks highly in the community’s esteem,” said Sargent.
“The public should be entitled to continue to enjoy that confidence.”
WorkSafe executive director Len Boehm said identifying and prosecuting such cases helped protect service providers, employers and workers, and maintained the integrity of Victoria’s workers compensation system.
“The vast majority of service providers for injured workers deliver a vital service which helps workers back to work and the life they want to lead,” said Boehm.
“A case like this gives a bad name to service providers by undermining community confidence and support in the workplace injury insurance system.”