Lawyers for a family accused of making thousands of fraudulent transactions are fighting to have the case thrown out of court.
The lawyer for a family accused of making more than 28,000 fraudulent Medicare transactions worth almost $3m has told a court he is “disturbed” the matter is going “nowhere quickly” as the case crawls through the courts.
Jeremias Olivier, who ran a dental van business, his wife Johannah and their two daughters Venessa and Michelle did not appear in Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court on Tuesday when lawyer Cabral Douglas argued their matter had been proceeding at a glacial pace.
All four members of the family have been charged with two counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, but no pleas have been entered, with Mr Douglas looking to have the charges withdrawn.
NCA NewsWire can reveal the commonwealth alleges the family made 28,268 fraudulent Medicare claims worth $2,920,189.40.
“I want to emphasise this matter is going nowhere quickly … it’s the kind of conduct that brings the court into disrepute,” Mr Douglas told the court.
Mr Douglas filed submissions for a section 82 hearing in April, where he would argue for the charges to be withdrawn and all four members of the Olivier family discharged.
The hearing has been scheduled for November 3, but a commonwealth prosecutor told the court they are against witnesses being cross-examined.
In response, Mr Douglas said it is a waste of the court’s time, especially since the alleged crimes were committed nine years ago.
“As a result, my clients are suffering with these frivolous baseless charges hanging over their head,” Mr Douglas told the court.
“I’ve been asking for evidence for two years … they won’t provide it to me.”
According to court documents, the four members of the Olivier family were alleged to have dishonestly obtained a financial advantage from the commonwealth by obtaining Medicare payments that they were not entitled to.
The family allegedly obtained the false payments between July 18, 2013, and December 19, 2014.
Mr Olivier ran the dental van business Smiles Onsite, which was in 2018 convicted of X-raying thousands of children between 2014 and 2015 without a radiation license or any training.
The Section 82 submissions, seen by NCA NewsWire, reveal that the Smiles Onsite business employed 60 people and treated more than 30,000 schoolchildren across rural and remote Australia.
“Many of whom had never been to the dentist prior, making the program very popular and of great value to schools,” the submissions detail.
The family strongly maintains their innocence, with Mr Olivier saying he had his home and businesses raided by federal police in 2014 and 2017.
“About 20 federal police officers seized our documents, which as one can imagine putting a fright into the family and our employees, many of whom were forced to resign by government investigators, but even then, I never could have imagined in my wildest nightmare that it would come to this,” Mr Olivier said.
He started the dental vans in 2011, initially sending them to aged care homes to take advantage of a Medicare benefit scheme, but when it ended he rebranded them to take advantage of Medicare’s Child Dental Benefit Scheme, which gave children $1000 worth of dental work.