17 Dec 2018
A tribunal has found that disqualified dentist, Mr Randeep Singh Dhillon, has engaged in professional misconduct after being found guilty of fraud while he was a practising dental practitioner.
The Dental Board of Australia (the Board) referred the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia (the tribunal) after Mr Dhillon was convicted on 17 February 2017 in the District Court of Western Australia on three counts of fraud.
The fraud related to a business loan for the purchase of dental equipment which Mr Dhillon entered into with a finance company, Investec Professional Finance Pty Ltd (Investec), which he defrauded of a total of $80,469.27. The offences were serious and premeditated. They involved serious and sustained dishonesty and a significant sum of money was involved.
As well as the conviction Mr Dhillon was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
The tribunal heard that Mr Dhillon had also failed to give the Board notice within seven days of being charged with the offence, as is required of registered health practitioners.
The tribunal had already considered a previous referral from the Board about Mr Dhillon that resulted in his disqualification from practising as dental practitioner for two years and six months by the tribunal on 25 January 2017. That disqualification period will end on 26 July 2019.
During the hearing the Board alleged that Mr Dhillon’s actions encompassed a range of conduct issues, from his failure to disclose criminal charges to the Board, to conviction on three counts of serious and premeditated fraud committed in the context of obtaining loans purportedly for the purchase of equipment for his dental practice.
The Board put forward that the public are entitled to expect that registered dental practitioners make the registration disclosures required of them under the National Law and act with scrupulous honestly in all aspects of their practice and conduct, including in their commercial dealings.
Taking this in to consideration, the tribunal found Mr Dhillon guilty of two findings of professional misconduct, disqualified him for a further three years and prohibited him from using title ‘doctor’ or providing any health service until he is returned to the register. The tribunal also ordered him to pay the Board’s costs of $45,000.
In sentencing, the tribunal added that in this case, Mr Dhillon's conduct is so serious and reflective of such a lack of the qualities necessary to be a member of the profession of dentistry, that nothing short of an order preventing him from applying for registration, using the honorific title 'Doctor' or administering any health service would achieve the objective of deterrence and maintenance of the standing of the profession.
The orders are published on the tribunal website.