Talaiha Inia was today sentenced to two years and nine months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to lodging false Medicare benefit claims valued at $224,986.80. In light of matters personal to Ms Inia, she will be released after 10 months after entering into a recognisance to be of good behaviour for three years.
Ms Inia was also ordered to pay $224,246.80 to the Commonwealth by way of a reparation order.
Between 24 April 2008 and 6 February 2014, Ms Inia received 92 Medicare benefit payments relating to 405 false claims for medical services purportedly provided to either herself or family members.
The individual benefits paid to Ms Inia ranged from $101.80 to $8,260.75.
To support her claims, Ms Inia created false service provider invoices and receipts from 12 medical practices, all of which she had either worked for (11 practices) or been a patient with (1 practice).
The largest number of false claims Ms Inia submitted (322) came from a neurosurgeon’s practice in Sydney where she had been employed as practice manager. Ms Inia lodged some of her false invoices while employed at the practice and some after she had left.
An investigation was commenced into this matter after extremely high benefits for neurological procedures claimed by her were detected.
Summary of charge:
- One count of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, contrary to s134.2(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
CDPP Media contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 6206 5708.