Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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HEALTH INSURANCE ACT 1973 - SECT 128A

False statements relating to medicare benefits etc.

             (1)  A person shall not make, or authorise the making of, a statement (whether oral or in writing) that is:

                     (a)  false or misleading in a material particular; and

                     (b)  capable of being used in connection with a claim for a benefit or payment under this Act.

Penalty:  20 penalty units.

             (2)  Where:

                     (a)  a person makes a statement (whether oral or in writing) that is false or misleading in a material particular;

                     (b)  the statement is capable of being used in connection with a claim for a benefit or payment under this Act;

                     (c)  the material particular in respect of which the statement is false or misleading is substantially based upon a statement made, either orally or in writing, to the person or to an agent of the person by another person who is an employee or agent of the first-mentioned person; and

                     (d)  the last-mentioned statement is false or misleading in a material particular;

that other person commits an offence punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units.

          (2A)  An offence under subsection (1) or (2) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

             (3)  In subsection (2), a reference to an employee of a person shall, in a case where that person is a corporation, be read as a reference to:

                     (a)  a director, secretary, manager or employee of the corporation;

                     (b)  a receiver and manager of any part of the undertaking of the corporation appointed under a power contained in any instrument; or

                     (c)  a liquidator of the corporation appointed in a voluntary winding up.

             (4)  A prosecution for an offence under this section may be commenced at any time within 3 years after the commission of the offence.

             (5)  It is a defence if a person charged with an offence under this section in relation to a statement made by the person did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, that the statement was:

                     (a)  false or misleading in a material particular; or

                     (b)  capable of being used in connection with a claim for a benefit or payment under this Act.

             (6)  In this section, a reference to making a statement includes a reference to issuing or presenting a document, and a reference to a statement shall be construed accordingly.



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