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Date 01 March 2021

Charge 1 – Section 533 Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (WCRA) – providing false or misleading information

Court Brisbane Magistrates Court
Plea Plea of Guilty
Case The worker was charged with defrauding the insurer by exaggerating their symptoms and capacity for the purpose of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.

The worker submitted an application for compensation with the insurer for a left shoulder injury sustained on 6 April 2015. On 30 May 2016, the worker signed a Notice of Claim for damages in relation to this injury. On 4 July 2017, the worker was examined and assessed by an Orthopaedic Surgeon. During this consultation, the defendant told the surgeon that they had mostly a constant dull ache which varies with movement and activity with their arm, and they were unable to comfortably use the elbow above shoulder height or reach behind their back. They also said that they had not returned to any of their recreational activities, which included boating and fishing. Surveillance was conducted of the worker on 22 and 23 July 2017. The surveillance footage captured shows the worker:

  • hitching a boat;
  • pushing a boat;
  • driving a ute towing a boat;
  • squatting and reaching with their left arm to reach for the boat bung;
  • raising their left arm, lifting cables, holding a fishing rod, using a boat winch and pushing a boat of a trailer;
  • using both arms to cast a fishing net;
  • pushing down on their left arm to climb up onto a ute; and
  • reaching across a loaded utility tray and pulling up with their left arm over shoulder height.

On 30 July 2018, The Orthopaedic Surgeon who previously examined the worker reviewed the footage and noted that the footage is in complete contract with the level of activity that the worker had described on 4 July 2017. They also noted that the worker is demonstrating a significantly greater level of activity and significantly better range of shoulder motion in the surveillance footage compared to that which they demonstrated during the clinical examination.


Fined $2,000.00

Restitution $0.00
Costs $5,331.45
Common Law rights extinguished? No
Conviction Recorded
Consideration for Prevention

A worker should be truthful to the insurer and medical practitioners about the extent of their capacity and ongoing symptoms.