Aged care service stakeholders have been shocked by the alleged embezzlement of $2 million by an employee at Latrobe City Council.
Gippsland Multicultural Services director Lisa Sinha said this incident could negatively affect other aged care service providers and fortify barriers among senior citizens who shy away from these types of services.
“To think how people have missed out on it is really sad,” said Ms Sinha.
It recently emerged Victoria Police and the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission were investigating a council employee from the aged and disability care services who allegedly overcharged the State Government a total of $2 million over 12 years.
It is understood the alleged fraud was only uncovered October last year prompting council to have the suspicious transactions investigated.
Ms Sinha said reports of suspected misappropriations in council may create a loss of confidence from the community.
“I feel for people who work hard in the aged care services team at the Latrobe City Council because they’ll be potentially smeared by this, which they don’t deserve,” she said.
Senior citizens clubs were also dismayed by the news and suggested council should strip itself from providing services to the elderly and leave it to other service providers.
“I feel so bad, I thought we are supposed to be benefitting from these services,” Greek Senior Citizens president George Kanellopolous told The Express.
Italian Seniors Club treasurer Serena Lomagno said while reports of the suspected fraud were “not a nice thing”, it could happen anywhere.
Council declined to comment while the investigation is ongoing.