A fraudster who ripped off Medicare is likely to lose his federal government job as a result of his "considered" crimes, a court has heard.
Canberra man Stephen Rodda, 49, was ordered in the ACT Magistrates Court last Thursday to fork out $2000 in fines and to pay $861.50 in reparations to Services Australia, which administers Medicare.
The public servant had previously pleaded guilty to charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and knowingly making false statements.
An agreed statement of facts shows Rodda lodged eight false claims through the Express Plus Medicare app between February and May last year to receive benefits for services that had not been rendered.
He attached supporting invoices that were forged with alterations to legitimate receipt numbers and consultation dates.
Rodda made another four dodgy claims in the first two months of 2020.
These related to services he had received, though he falsely stated he had paid for them in full in order to receive the associated benefits.
Two of the claims were rejected, but the other two went through.
In total, Rodda received 10 fraudulently obtained benefits of $86.15 each.
The agreed facts note that his debt to Services Australia may be greater than $861.50, and that the agency would not be precluded from seeking to recover more than that if a greater amount was owed.
The charges read to Rodda when he pleaded guilty indicated the benefits related to psychological services, and that he committed the crimes in the Molonglo Valley suburb of Wright.
Rodda's lawyer, Paul Edmonds, told the court during the 49-year-old's sentencing last Thursday that the offender "obviously understands what he did was dishonest".
But he said Rodda had only obtained a "very minor" financial advantage, adding that the man did attend a number of genuine sessions with a psychologist last year.
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Mr Edmonds told the court Rodda's offending had occurred during an "annus horribilis", which had followed the breakdown of the 49-year-old's marriage.
Asked by magistrate James Lawton whether gambling was something that had motivated his client to offend, Mr Edmonds said that was "certainly part of it".
The lawyer said Rodda was employed by the Commonwealth.
"He fully understands that there is a huge risk, approaching an inevitability ... that the finding of guilt alone will cause him to lose his security clearance and therefore his employment," Mr Edmonds said.
Notwithstanding this, Mr Edmonds asked Mr Lawton to consider not recording criminal convictions.
Federal prosecutor Cecilia Pascoe opposed non-conviction orders.
She said while Rodda did not obtain a large amount, he had deliberately used fraudulent invoices and others had to be deterred from doing this.
"Fraud undermines the social security system, regardless of the quantum," Ms Pascoe told the court.
She added that Rodda had a criminal history, though it was "somewhat dated", meaning specific deterrence had a role to play.
Mr Lawton ultimately found it would not be appropriate to let Rodda off without convictions, imposing these alongside the fines and the reparation order.
He said Rodda's offending was not trivial, noting it had involved "considered, fraudulent actions".
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