The Federal Court has ordered that Bupa Aged Care Australia Pty Ltd (Bupa) pay $6 million in penalties for making misleading representations and wrongly accepting payments for extra services not provided or only provided in part to residents at 20 aged care homes.
The Court has also ordered Bupa by consent to compensate all affected current and past residents within 12 months. Bupa has already commenced paying compensation to affected residents and estimates that it will pay around $18.3 million in total.
Australians who are older, Indigenous or have disability reported record losses in 2018 according to the ACCC’s annual Targeting Scams report released this week.
Australians aged over 65 submitted over 26,400 reports to Scamwatch in 2018, with losses of over $21.4 million. This represents an increase of five per cent in reports but 22 per cent in losses.
The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court alleging Bupa Aged Care Australia Pty Ltd (Bupa) made false or misleading representations to its aged care residents in 21 homes about services it did not provide or only partly provided, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.
Following an investigation by the ACCC, criminal charges have been laid against The Country Care Group Pty Ltd (Country Care), its Managing Director, Robert Hogan, and a former employee, Cameron Harrison.
The charges relate to alleged cartel conduct involving assistive technology products used in rehabilitation and aged care, including beds and mattresses, wheelchairs and walking frames.
Country Care is based in Mildura, Victoria.
The charges are listed for mention before the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria in Mildura on 14 March 2018.