23 Dec 2014
Mr Domenic Greco – reprimanded, registration cancelled effective 19 January 2015, and disqualified from applying for registration for two years from that date.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has handed down its decision on determinations in the case of registered psychologist Mr Domenic Greco, who was found guilty of engaging in professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct on 11 August 2014. The hearing ran for 12 days in April and May 2014.
The Psychology Board of Australia (Board) prosecuted the case against Mr Greco in the tribunal after receiving a range of notifications from individuals compromised by his services and from concerned government agencies. The Board referred the matter to VCAT in October 2013.
Board Chair, Professor Brin Grenyer said the VCAT decision sends a clear message to registered psychologists and their clients.
‘The Board’s main role is to help protect the public, and this decision shows that the Board takes this responsibility very seriously,’ said Professor Grenyer.
‘The Board will take action on psychologists who provide services that are not in their patients’ best interests, which can result in a psychologist having their registration cancelled, as we have seen in this case.’
The allegations related to Mr Greco’s professional conduct as a psychologist between July 2007 and late 2013. Mr Greco provides psychological services to victims of crime through his business Victims of Crime Compensation and Counselling Services (VOCCCS), and the Board alleged that he represented to clients and potential clients through the VOCCCS website that he was associated with the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) in an official capacity.
VCAT made findings of professional misconduct in relation to 14 allegations against Mr Greco, including allegations relating to:
- misleading and deceptive advertising by VOCCCS, which misled clients and the professionals who supported them
- preparing Initial Reports and Assessment Reports for VOCAT on the basis of single interviews and without taking sufficient time to obtain adequate histories and form properly informed clinical judgements
- Mr Greco’s professional practice in his dealings with individual clients
- receiving remuneration for referrals in breach of the profession’s Code of Ethics
- acting without due regard for the special competency of colleagues, and
- breaching conditions on his registration during 2012, by continuing to advertise his services online and failing to attend supervision sessions with a Board-approved supervisor.
VCAT also found Mr Greco had engaged in unprofessional conduct in relation to five allegations, which included allegations of exploiting two clients by publishing details of their traumatic experiences on a blog on a website designed to promote his business, inappropriate use of online information-gathering, overcharging and overservicing.
In view of the serious nature of the conduct found proven and Mr Greco’s failure to demonstrate insight into his conduct, VCAT determined that:
- Mr Greco is reprimanded
- Mr Greco’s registration is cancelled, effective 19 January 2015, and
- Mr Greco is disqualified from applying for registration for two years.
Until the cancellation takes effect on 19 January, the only change to the national register of practitioners/Register of Psychologists is the reprimand. After the cancellation date, Mr Greco will appear on the list of cancelled practitioners.
The decision will soon be published by VCAT on the AustLII website.
The suppression order in this matter continues to prohibit publication of any information that might identify any person who made complaints (notifications) about Mr Greco, was a witness in this proceeding and/or patient/client of Mr Greco.
For more information
- Visit the AHPRA website
- For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9275 9009 (overseas callers)
- For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200
Download a PDF of this Media release - Statement from the Psychology Board of Australia - 23 December 2014 (169 KB,PDF)