Jin Tong (Tom) Li of Richmond receives 12-month conditional sentence after guilty plea
A Richmond pharmacist who submitted thousands of fraudulent claims to B.C.’s PharmaCare system, mainly to save money for his poor and elderly clients, has been sentenced to a year of house arrest.
Jin Tong (Tom) Li, 41, pleaded guilty this week to one charge of obtaining more than $5,000 under a false pretense.
That crime can carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, but Provincial Court Judge Georgia Docolas said the 12-month conditional sentence recommended by Crown and defence lawyers was more appropriate.
“This is what I will describe as a low-sophistication crime, committed primarily to benefit his low-income, senior patients,” Docolas said Wednesday.
Nonetheless, she added, Li’s actions have had a serious impact.
“Any time there is a breach of trust involving a public body like PharmaCare … the impact is high because it affects all British Columbians,” the judge said.
Li sold his house to pay back the more than $616,000 he owed the province, the judge said, and he and his wife have had to move in with family. Li is now a stay-at-home dad to their three children while his wife had to go back to school so she could find a job to support the family.
Read the full article at CBC News.