|Date||12 August 2021|
Charges 3-5 and 12-16 withdrawn by prosecution
|Court||Brisbane Magistrates Court|
|Plea||Plea of Guilty|
|Case||The charges arose from the worker failing to disclose their self-employment in marketing while receiving compensation and making false or misleading statements about their capacity of work.|
On 23 December 2016, the worker applied for workers' compensation to WorkCover Queensland (the insurer) after purportedly injuring their shoulder while working as an excavator operator on 17 October 2016. On 23 May 2017, the worker underwent surgery for the shoulder injury.
On or around 11 July 2017, the worker commenced providing internet advertising and marketing services. This work consisted of running a Facebook page called [Worker's Full Name] Marketing on which they posted regular videos and messages about 'working from home' and marketing content. The worker held an ABN under the same name as the Facebook page, declaring income in the 2018 and 2019 financial years.
On 4 August 2017, the worker told an neurosurgeon that they had not worked since before the surgery in May. On 9 October 2017, they told an occupational physician that they haven't worked since the surgery and has no capacity to do any work because their headaches are so severe.
The worker made similar false or misleading statements on 2 February 2018 to customer advisor at the insurer, on 21 September 2018 to a psychiatrist, on 4 October 2018 to a pain medicine specialist, on 26 October 2018 to an occupational therapist, on 6 March 2019 to another psychiatrist, and on 30 May 2019 to another occupational therapist. They went on to tell the Medical Assessment Tribunal that they were unable to work at all during the assessment on 30 May 2019.
In fact, the worker was working for the entire period in their online marketing business.
As a consequence of their dishonesty, they fraudulently obtained $228,774.43 in compensation to which they were not entitled.
Charge 1 - fraud - 2 year imprisonment, suspended for 2 years after serving 6 months
Charge 2 - engage in calling - convicted, not further punished
Charges 5-11 - false or misleading statements - 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years after serving 3 months
|Common Law rights extinguished?||Yes|
|Consideration for Prevention||Workers must be upfront and honest and medical professionals and insurers in relation to their capacity for work. Self-employment is work for the purposes of the scheme and must be disclosed.|