29 September 2011

Shrinkage

Last year I noted Vitomir Zepinic, the unsavoury man with a history of fake medical qualifications.

The ABC reports tonight on Dusan Milosevic, a former member of Serbia's secret service who has been jailed for posing as a psychologist.

Milosevic was reportedly paid over $1 million by Australian government agencies for more than 7,000 consultations between 1998 and 2009, including the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and WorkSafe. His practice appears to have been reflected in at least one case, for example Cvetic v Sakata Rice Snacks Australia Pty Ltd & Cambridge Integrated Services (Vic) Pty Ltd
[2010] VCC 1468.

Gaynor J of the Victorian County Court said that Milosevic used false documents purportedly from the University of Belgrade to register as a psychologist in Victoria and NSW. Milosevic was then employed by WorkSafe and the TAC to counsel people injured in workplace and car accidents, without being qualified to do so. Exposure followed an attempt in 2008 to bill WorkSafe for services he claimed to have provided, despite being overseas at the time.

In August 2010 Worksafe stated that -
WorkSafe and the Transport Accident Commission allege Dusan Milosevic of Carlton, was not qualified to work as a psychologist in Victoria because fake documents were used to register with the Psychologists’ Registration Board in 1998.

The charges arise from his treatment of injured workers and people with injuries suffered in transport incidents.

Mr Milosevic is charged with 323 WorkSafe counts of obtaining property by deception and attempting to obtain property by deception.

The TAC has charged him on 34 counts of obtaining and attempting to obtain property by deception.

The alleged fraud against WorkSafe is $1,138,785.60 and the TAC $56,342.73.

Mr Milosevic has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Pending a directions hearing in the County Court on 15 October, Mr Milosevic’s passport has been seized and he has been ordered to report to police three times a week as well as pay a $70,000 surety.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani was told this week that Mr Milosevic’s Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree were fakes and differed on a number of key points with those issued by the University of Belgrade.

The head of student services at the university’s Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Gordana Sulejmanovic, told the court on Monday that Mr Milosevic’s Bachelors and Masters Degrees were not from her university.

Ms Sulejmanovic, who had worked at the University for 35 years and who was now responsible for issuing documentation confirming student achievements said:
• University records did not show a Dusan Milosevic enrolled at the university or having received Bachelors or Master’s Degree when he claimed to have been there
• key features of the Degrees such as national crests and words were missing;
• signatures of senior university officials were not those of the people in those positions
• special code numbers were incorrect.
Milosevic was considered to have exploited vulnerable patients and shown no remorse in a a "serious and flagrant breach".
The potential for harm in such professional relationships is great, hence the need for regulations.
He pleaded not guilty to two charges of using a false document, one count of obtaining advantage by deception, and 29 of obtaining property by deception. He was sentenced to five years and two months imprisionment, with a 2.5 year non-parole period.