A bogus doctor who worked in NSW for more than a decade using a stolen identity has been fined the maximum penalty of $30,000 and ordered to pay $22,000 in legal costs.
But Shyam Acharya was not in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court, or even in Australia, to hear he had been convicted and penalised by magistrate Jennifer Atkinson on Monday.
The 41-year-old left the country three days after being served with a court attendance notice in January.
In his absence, the magistrate found him guilty of falsely claiming he was authorised to work in the health system between July 21 and September 24, 2016, when he was employed at private medical research company Novotech.
Her sentencing related to just this charge, but she noted the background to the case which involved Acharya stealing various documents, including his university degree, from Dr Sarang Chitale.
Acharya had been staying with Dr Chitale and his grandmother in the Indian city of Pune from 1999 to 2000.
In 2003, he used the stolen documents and forged documents to gain registration with the Medical Board of NSW, and later used them to obtain Australian citizenship in Dr Chitale’s name.
Acharya posed as Dr Chitale to work in Manly, Hornsby, Gosford, and Wyong hospitals, she said.
While he was working as a medical director at Novotech, which conducts drug trials, it was discovered he had the same UK medical registration number as the real Dr Chitale.
“In my view, this matter is objectively at the most serious level of offending,” Ms Atkinson said, deciding to impose the maximum penalty.
“It is important in medical research that people who are properly qualified are carrying out the work ….. which can have a direct impact on members of the public,” she said.
Aggravating features included the offence being committed without regard to public safety, in circumstance representing an abuse of trust, and for financial gain.