"Most serious level and warranted the maximum penalty of a 30,000 dollars fine."
An Australian-Indian man received a huge fine of $30,000 (approx. £18,000) for impersonating a UK doctor in Melbourne. The 41-year-old, identified as Shyam Acharya, impersonated his former housemate, British Indian doctor Sarang Chitale, for a total of 10 years.
The Australian-Indian received the fine on Monday 3rd April 2017. The court deemed his crime as the “most serious level” offence. The trial took place in Syndey, Australia. However, he did not appear in court as they revealed the fine.
He will also supposedly pay prosecution costs, valued at $22,000 (approx. £13,000).
Reports say that Shyam Acharya had arrived in Australia in 2003, and quickly began impersonating a UK doctor. He began working in New South Wales Health.
From 2003 to May 2014, the man continued this by working as a junior doctor. He worked in four hospitals during this time.
Shockingly, the reports also claim that Shyam Acharya had also managed to obtain citizenship, an Australian passport, and houses in the actual doctor’s name.
Police first arrested the man for impersonating a UK doctor, between July and September 2016. During this time, he worked at Novotech, a research company. However, he soon revealed to police his crime had lasted for a decade.
But how did he manage to impersonate a doctor?
The man had lived with Sarang Chitale and his grandmother between 1999 and 2000. In that time, Shyam Acharya stole the doctor’s university degrees and certification to practice in medicine.
Sarang Chitale, who now resides in the UK, reportedly felt “shocked” when he heard the news. He himself works at a hospital in Manchester.
However, suspicions arose when police inquired with the British-Indian doctor’s supervisor. It became clear that Acharya had actually been an impersonator.
Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson, at Syndey’s Downing Centre Local Court, found the offence as one of the:
“Most serious level and warranted the maximum penalty of a 30,000 dollars fine.”
But, the fact that the man continued this crime for a whole decade, hails as the shocking factor of all. Australian hospitals are required to take more action to avoid future cases.