'Cynical, deceitful' hospital chief jailed for fraud

Veronica Chung is led away by police following her sentencing.
Veronica Chung is led away by police following her sentencing. Blake Antrobus

VERONICA Anne Chung trembled as Magistrate Peter Hasted handed down a jail sentence for fraudulent conduct as the acting Chief Finance Officer of the South West Hospital and Health Service from 2014-15.

Chung was convicted on Thursday in the Roma Magistrates Court for offences relating to attempted fraud, forgery, uttering forged documents and compounding indictable offences.

In sentencing her to 12 months with a non-parole period of four months, Magistrate Hasted said her offences involved a degree of "calculated, cynical and deceitful conduct".

"You initially attempted to resist legitimate inquiry by the detectives... [for] your dishonest behaviour," he said.

The court was told as the acting CFO of the SWHHS, Ms Chung attempted, in October 2015, to purchase an iPad using a co-worker's signature on the tax invoice receipt. This was was rejected after a banking error.

Her fraudulent qualifications and attempt to cover up her dishonest conduct were uncovered upon inquiry from detectives and staff.

Magistrate Hasted also considered the statement from a co-worker of Chung, who was left "catatonic... [and] shocked" from her actions.

"Veronica's actions have affected my trust in the health organisation and my ability to progress my career... [and] I am still affected and emotional by the betrayal of trust... [with] this criminal offence," the magistrate read from the statement.

Hasted took into account her timely plea of guilty and her service within the SWHHS.

"You have provided a degree of productivity, output and benefit to the SWHHS according to the statement from Glynis Schultz," he said. Chung will be released in October.

Topics:  darling downs queensland health south west hospital and health service

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