Conman ‘doctor’ hit with maximum sentence

A "master conman" who masqueraded as a doctor in NSW hospitals for more than a decade has been convicted in abstentia and hit with more than $50,000 in fines and legal bills.

But with Shyam Acharya on the run — and believed to be hiding out somewhere in India — it appears unlikely the money will ever be paid.

Acharya was convicted in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Monday for impersonating a UK doctor, Sarang Chitale, and working fraudulently at five NSW hospitals over 11 years.

Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson said it was the worst possible case of “holding out” as a registered health practitioner, and ordered Acharya to pay a $30,000 fine — the maximum allowed under NSW laws.

He was ordered to pay a further $22,000 to cover AHPRA's legal costs.

NSW police have set up a strike force to track down the fugitive, who has been dubbed a &quot