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Date 2 July 2018

Charge 1 – Section 533 Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (WCRA) – Fraud

Four charges of making false or misleading statements pursuant to section 534 of the Act were discontinued.

Court Brisbane Magistrates Court
Plea Plea of Guilty to the fraud charge
Case The worker was charged for dishonestly claiming workers' compensation for an injury that was not work related.

The worker submitted an application for compensation with the insurer for a fractured foot they sustained reportedly by jumping off the back of a ute tray and landing with the flat of their foot on the kerb. The claim was assessed as a 'journey claim' because the worker claimed that the injury occurred when they were stopped at a temporary residence to pick up some tools on their way home from work.

Throughout the claim, the worker continued to assert to the insurer and to various medical practitioners that they sustained their injury by jumping from the work ute.

The fraud was discovered when the insurer obtained medical records from the emergency department at the hospital where the worker was initially seen for the injury. The medical notes of the triage nurse and the treating doctor both noted that the worker had told them they had sustained the injury while skateboarding.

When the insurer confronted the worker with this evidence, the worker maintained their original version of events and said that the hospital records must be inaccurate.

The worker was offered a record of interview with the Office of Industrial Relations and voluntarily participated in this process. During the record of interview, the worker continued being dishonest and maintained his assertions about how the injury was sustained.

The matter was listed for trial with the worker ultimately entering a plea of guilty to the fraud charge two days before the beginning of the trial.

The worker was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for an operational period of two years.

Restitution $38,082.87
Costs $20,327.00
Common Law rights extinguished? Yes
Conviction Recorded
Consideration for Prevention

A worker should not defraud the workers' compensation scheme by dishonestly claiming compensation for a non-work related injury.