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05-06-2017-Caboolture

Date 5 June 2017
Charges Charge One – Section 533 Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (WCRA) – Fraud
Charge Two – Section 136 – Worker must notify return to work or engagement in a calling
Charge One - Section 534(2) – False or misleading information or documents
Court Caboolture Magistrates Court
Plea Guilty
Case For failure to notify of return to work or engagement in a calling.
Facts

On 3 February 2012, the worker allegedly sustained a back injury while working as a Welder for the employer. On 20 February 2012, the worker lodged an application for compensation with WorkCover. The claim was accepted on 19 March 2012. The claim continued until 2 November 2012 when the worker was advised by WorkCover that he was no longer incapacitated as a result of his workplace injury. A Notice of Assessment was issued on 31 December 2012. On 27 February 2013, the worker signed a WorkCover Notice of Claim for Damages.

It became evidence in the Notice of Claim that the worker had engaged in a calling as a sign installation contractor throughout his statutory claim. At the time of undertaking this self-employment, the worker was either certified as totally incapacitated or only fit for suitable duties and was in receipt of compensation. The worker failed to advise the insurer of this work.

A complaint and summons was filed on 12 August 2014 in the Caboolture Magistrates Court for one charge of fraud to return to a calling and one charge for failing to advise the insurer and one charge of providing false and misleading information to the insurer.

This matter was set down for trial however on the morning of the trial on the 5 June 2017 new evidence came to light that the worker had others perform the work on his behalf. This evidence was fatal to prospects of success on the fraud charge and it was therefore agreed to offer no evidence on the fraud charge or the false and misleading charge and the worker pleaded guilty to the failure to notify charge only.

Penalty2,000.00
RestitutionNil
Costs$22,000.00 - Workers Compensation Regulators Costs
Common Law rights extinguished? No
Conviction Recorded
Consideration for Prevention A worker should notify the insurer if they continue to work or return to work while in receipt of benefits