Recommendations for prosecutions and updates

The Commission must seek the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on whether any prosecution should be commenced. The DPP determines whether any criminal charges can be laid, and conducts all prosecutions. The Commission provides information on this website in relation to the status of prosecution recommendations and outcomes as advised by the DPP. The progress of matters is generally within the hands of the DPP. Accordingly, the Commission does not directly notify persons affected of advice received from the DPP or the progress of their matters generally.

The Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the DPP with respect to the prosecution of Sandra Lazarus for the following offences in relation to her conduct concerning the Royal Hospital for Women:

  • offences of making or using false instruments contrary to section 300(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 in relation to two vendor maintenance forms and five requisitions
  • offences of obtaining money by false or misleading statements contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act in relation to: nine invoices submitted for Medical and Clinical Informatics Consultants Pty Ltd (MCIC); seven invoices submitted on behalf of Michelle Lazarus for Wish Consulting Pty Ltd (Wish); false statements made to Dominic McGee; and false statements made to Stacey Linton.

The Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the DPP with respect to the prosecution of Sandra Lazarus for the following offences in relation to her conduct concerning the Royal North Shore Hospital:

  • offences of making or using false instruments contrary to section 300(1) of the Crimes Act in relation to three vendor maintenance forms and 30 non-order vouchers
  • offences of obtaining money by false or misleading statements contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act in relation to: four invoices submitted for MCIC; nine invoices submitted on behalf of Michelle Lazarus for Wish; 22 invoices for Complete Health and Medicine Pty Ltd; false statements make to Dr Michael Back; false statements made to Dr Mark Sywak.

The Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the DPP with respect to the prosecution of Michelle Lazarus for offences of giving false or misleading evidence contrary to section 87(1) of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 in relation to:

  • her knowledge of the purpose for the preparation of three MCIC pay slips showing her as an employee
  • her knowledge of the purpose for the preparation of the letter of appointment, dated 17 April 2008, from Wish to Jessica Lazarus
  • whether or not she met Dr Gilbert Burton
  • her knowledge of two cheques drawn on the Wish account and paid to St Vincent's Hospital.

Updates

On 23 May 2014, Michelle Lazarus was convicted in the Local Court of seven offences of giving false or misleading evidence to the Commission contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act. On 14 July 2014, she was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment, wholly suspended. The same day, she filed a notice of appeal to the District Court against her conviction and sentence.

On 27 November 2014, Sandra Lazarus was found guilty of 16 offences of dishonestly obtaining a benefit by deception contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act and 27 offences of making or using a false instrument contrary to section 300(1) of the Crimes Act. She was found not guilty of a further 15 offences under section 300(1) of the Crimes Act. Her matter was adjourned for sentence 27 April 2015.

On 5 February 2015, Sandra Lazarus commenced proceedings by summons in the Supreme Court seeking judicial review of the magistrate's decision. Garling J dismissed the summons on 16 April 2015 and ordered Sandra Lazarus to pay the Crown’s costs.

On 23 February 2015, Michelle Lazarus commenced proceedings by summons in the Supreme Court seeking judicial review of the magistrate's decision.

On 27 April 2015, Sandra Lazarus was sentenced in the Local Court to an aggregate term of 21 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 16 months. The same day, she filed a notice of appeal to the District Court against her conviction and sentence.

On 12 May 2015, Sandra Lazarus filed a notice of intention to appeal against the decision of Garling J on 16 April 2015 in the Court of Appeal.

On 15 May 2015, Sandra Lazarus filed a further summons seeking a review of the magistrate’s decision to convict her. A further summons was filed on 20 July 2015 seeking to have her convictions set aside and the proceedings against her struck out. Hulme J dismissed both of these summonses as abuses of process on 2 December 2015.

On 21 August 2015, Garling J in the Supreme Court dismissed Michelle Lazarus’ summons of 23 February 2015 and ordered her to pay the Crown’s costs. Michelle Lazarus then filed a notice of intention to appeal against the decision of Garling J.

On 15 December 2015, Sandra Lazarus’ application for leave to appeal against Garling J’s decision was heard in the Court of Appeal. Sandra Lazarus did not appear that day and sought an adjournment by email. Having concluded that the appeal had no realistic prospects of success, the Court of Appeal refused leave and ordered Sandra Lazarus to pay the Crown’s costs.

On 14 March 2016, the Court of appeal heard Michelle Lazarus’ application for leave to appeal against Garling J’s decision of 21 August 2015. That application was refused and Michelle Lazarus was ordered to pay the Crown’s costs.

Thereafter, Sandra Lazarus and her sister Michelle Lazarus filed a number of notices of motion in the District Court seeking an order that the criminal proceedings against them be stayed.

The motions were heard on 16 November 2015 and 24 June 2016. On 19 August 2016, Judge Zahra of the District Court declined to stay the proceedings.

On 24 November 2016 Sandra Lazarus and Michelle Lazarus filed a further summons in the Court of Appeal seeking judicial review of Judge Zahra’s decision of 19 August 2016. That appeal challenged the validity of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (Validation) Act 2015. The Court of Appeal dismissed the summons on 7 March 2017.

The appeals against conviction and sentence of Sandra Lazarus and Michelle Lazarus were both listed for hearing before the District Court on 19 June 2017. On that day, Michelle Lazarus failed to attend Court. Her appeals against conviction and sentence were dismissed for want of prosecution and her sentence from the Local Court was confirmed. Sandra Lazarus appeared and sought an adjournment of proceedings. King J refused the adjournment and stood the matter over to 20 June 2017 for hearing. On that day, Sandra Lazarus failed to attend Court and her appeal against conviction was dismissed. Her appeal against sentence was adjourned to 28 June 2017.

On 28 June 2017,  the Court adjourned the hearing of the appeal against sentence to 14 July 2017. On 14 July 2017, the matter was adjourned for mention on 19 July 2017 and for hearing of the appeal on 18 August 2017. On that day, an application to set aside the dismissal of the conviction appeal was refused. The matter was further listed for the hearing of the severity appeal on 18, 20, 22 and 29 September 2017. On 29 September 2017, the matter was adjourned for hearing on 7 and 8 December 2017. On 13 December 2017, Hoy DCJ confirmed the sentence of 21 months imprisonment but varied the non-parole period to 13 months. The sentence was stayed by virtue of section 69C(2)(a) of the Supreme Court Act 1970 due to separate civil proceedings brought by Sandra and Michelle Lazarus in July 2017 in the Court of Appeal seeking, among other things, the quashing of their convictions. Those proceedings were set down for hearing on 9 April 2018. On 27 March 2018, the Supreme Court granted the application of Sandra Lazarus to vacate that hearing date. On 6 August 2018, the Court of Appeal proceedings were set down for hearing on 22 November 2018. Under the Supreme Court Act, the stay of proceedings continues until the proceedings for judicial review are finally determined, subject to any order or direction of the Court of Appeal.