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03-12-2019-Townsville

Date 03 December 2019
Charges

1 charge pursuant to Section 533 Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (WCRA) – Fraud

4 charges pursuant to Section 534 WCRA – Providing false or misleading information or statements

Court Townsville Magistrates Court
Plea Plea of Guilty
Case The worker was charged for fraudulently claiming workers’ compensation for a psychological injury they claimed to have sustained as a result of an armed robbery at their place of employment.
Facts

In December 2015, the worker lodged an application for workers’ compensation claiming to have suffered a psychological injury after being held-up at gun point during a robbery at the hotel the worker worked at.

Throughout the claim the worker consistently provided a history of being a victim in an armed robbery to various doctors and to the insurer and claimed ongoing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

The insurer was tipped off to the fraud when they received information that the worker had been charged by the Queensland Police Service in relation to their involvement in the robbery. The worker had provided one person with information about their workplace and assisted another person with the robbery while playing the role of a victim. The robbery was aggravated by the use of a firearm and the presence of one of the worker’s colleagues who was tied up and assaulted.

The worker was sentenced to four years imprisonment to be suspended after serving 16 months in actual custody for the robbery. They were to be immediately deported to New Zealand upon their release.

In light of the worker’s admissions in relation to being involved in the armed robbery, it follows that any psychological injury claimed to have been suffered by the worker as a consequence of that robbery must be false and made for the purpose of obtaining compensation to which they were not entitled.

Penalty

9 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for an operational period of 2 years – fraud.

3 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for an operational period of 2 years – false or misleading information.

Restitution $17,865.19
Costs $2,000
Common Law rights extinguished? Yes
Conviction Recorded
Consideration for Prevention A worker should not fraudulently claim compensation for an injury that did not occur.