Baldivis woman makes $45,000 from false dental claims
A Baldivis woman faces jail after pleading guilty to claiming more than $45,000 in false dental procedures from HBF.
Lolita Frances Hall appeared in the Rockingham Magistrates Court two weeks ago, admitting to making the false claims over a three year period.
The court was told that between September 2015 and February 2019, Hall submitted 34 claims to HBF for dental procedures at three separate dentists- however, all of these claims were false.
Amounts claimed ranged from $51 up to $3,995, with the total amount she received totalling $45,790.
Employed as a receptionist at a dental surgery from 2011-2012, the court heard that Hall was aware of the layout of dental claim forms, and used this knowledge to take advantage of the system.
Her lawyer said that she was “remorseful, ashamed and embarrassed” about her actions, but that the offending had come at a time when she was struggling with her health and finances.
“She accepts full responsibility…this was irresponsible and unwise,” he said.
The court was told that Hall is currently paying the money back to HBF in instalments.
Although her lawyer was calling for a spent conviction to be granted to avoid affecting Hall’s employment, Magistrate Vivien Edwards said she was instead “of the view that prison was on the radar” as a possible penalty.
“This offending occurred over a three and a half year period, 34 times,” she said.
“She took advantage of her knowledge of the system and submitted false invoices to HBF and received a significant sum of money.”
Magistrate Edwards told Hall to “be under no illusion” that she could be facing imprisonment for her offending.
A pre-sentence report has been ordered ahead of Hall’s sentencing next month.
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