Melbourne Pharmacist Suspended Over Illegal Activity
A former intern pharmacist whose hydration clinic services celebrities such as Ruby Rose, has been convicted for stealing prescription drugs from her Melbourne employer.
Shadi Kazeme, 28, was on Wednesday given a community corrections order with 150 hours of community work for stealing human growth hormones and weight loss drugs from her former employer, South Yarra's Como Compounding Pharmacy.
Kazeme - a pre-registered or 'intern' pharmacist - was responsible for dispensing prescription items at the business.
But she used her role to send vials of drugs to her home and people connected to her - without prescription or payment, and often in false names, the Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard.
Her barrister, Raoul Stransky, said most of the products were used personally by Kazeme for weight loss or "wellbeing".
He said she was dealing with mental health issues at the time of thefts.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency suspended her registration after the case, but Mr Stransky argued any conviction would ruin her chances to reapply to become a pharmacist.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg was not persuaded.
He said such regulatory boards appeared "extremely tolerant of misdeeds".
He said a conviction was warranted, given the gross breach of trust involved and the protracted period of offending, from February 2014 to June last year.
"(It) involved a lot of subterfuge and creating false documents," he said.
Kazeme pleaded guilty to one count each of theft and attempted theft.
While Mr Rozencwajg couldn't quantify the size of the heist, it was "significant" and involved pharmaceuticals normally requiring prescription.
The court heard the stress and financial loss suffered by Kazeme's former employer, Nima Alavi - the pharmacist who reportedly tipped off police about supplements provided to Essendon AFL club in 2014 - was significant.
Kazeme lost her job after the deception surfaced before establishing a "hydration clinic" business.
This business has now expanded to Bali and its clients include Australian celebrities Ruby Rose and model Kris Smith, according to photos on the iv.me Hydration Clinic Instagram account.