A health care provider has acquired a three-year jail sentence after defrauding sufferers out of greater than AU$810,000 to fund his playing. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Funding an dependancy
A health care provider who defrauded his sufferers out of greater than AU$810,000 (US$524,637) to fund his playing dependancy has acquired a jail sentence. Abraham Stephanson was hit with a three-year jail sentence on Tuesday within the County Court docket of Victoria, a time period additionally together with an 18-month non-parole interval.
a gross breach of belief”
Decide George Georgiou labeled the offenses “a gross breach of belief,” including that Stephanson’s actions had a profound affect on all of the victims. In explaining the sentencing, the decide mentioned he took under consideration the accused’s playing dependancy and psychological well being points.
The 50-year-old physician admitted that he persuaded sufferers to lend him funds, utilizing the terminal most cancers prognosis of his father as the rationale for needing the cash. Not one of the money that Stephanson took went in the direction of serving to his father, with most truly spent on on-line playing platforms.
A rip-off artist
Between 2019 and 2020, Stephanson took cash from 18 of his sufferers and a pharmacy employee, as reported by ABC. The borrowed sums ranged from AU$5,000 (US$3,238) to AU$120,000 (US$77,724).
Earlier than his arrest, the disgraced physician repaid about AU$190,418 (US$123,334) to the sufferers, which means there’s nonetheless greater than AU$620,000 (US$401,574) excellent. He has bought a property for AU$1.6m (US$1m) to assist repay the victims. A few of them had a relationship with Stephanson for as much as a decade and had been typically aged. One has even handed away since lending the physician cash.
Stephanson would contact sufferers by way of textual content or electronic mail
To request the cash, Stephanson would contact sufferers by way of textual content or electronic mail. These messages had been typically precisely the identical, the primary distinction being the vacation spot for the supposed most cancers therapy. The mortgage settlement he would strike up with the victims didn’t define any phrases and situations. He would usually add the funds to his on-line sportsbook account, though on one event he used the cash to make a mortgage cost.
Some sufferers ended up giving the physician their life financial savings. Of their sufferer affect statements, a lot of them outlined how they felt “offended,” “violated,” and “betrayed” by Stephanson’s actions.
Stephanson’s medical license has been indefinitely suspended because of his actions. He already had a legal report, having been convicted in 2005 for knowingly possessing baby pornography.
One of many victims even outlined how she had sympathized with the physician’s supposed plight as her personal father had died from most cancers. Many mentioned they now really feel like they may battle to totally belief individuals once more.