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Date 20 September 2021
  • Charge 1 – Section 533 Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (WCRA) – Attempted Fraud
  • Charge 2 – Section 534 WCRA – making a false or misleading statement in a material particular
Court Brisbane Magistrates Court
Plea Not Guilty
Case The worker was charged with attempting to defraud the insurer by failing to disclose work they were undertaking to the insurer and to their medical practitioners during the course of their common law claim for damages. The worker was found guilty after trial and was sentenced on that basis.

On 25 October 2016, the worker submitted an application for compensation with the insurer for a shoulder injury they sustained in the course of their work as a retail assistant.

Subsequent to their claim for compensation, the worker submitted a Notice of Claim for damages on 29 March 2018. In this document, the worker agreed to advise the insurer if their circumstances changed or if they became aware of any matter that would make the information provided false or misleading, including any return to work.

On 16 October 2018, during a consultation for the purpose of the worker’s claim for damages, the worker informed a Psychiatrist that they were not currently working, that they had been looking for alternative employment without success.

On 13 December 2018, a compulsory conference was held to progress the common law claim. Leading up to this, the worker was asked to provide a statutory declaration setting out all employment the worker had undertaken since their injury. This was not provided prior to the conference.

During the conference, the worker’s lawyers informed the insurer that the worker had tried to look for jobs but had not worked. Later during this conference, the worker admitted to doing some work for a carwash. They were asked further questions but the conference ended due to difficulties obtaining instructions from the worker.

On 18 December 2018, the worker’s lawyers provided a statutory declaration setting out that the worker had applied for a number of jobs in 2018. It also set out details of employment with a retail jewellery store, detailing a number of shifts which had been worked since 9 October 2018.

The matter proceeded to trial on 18 and 19 February 2021. The worker was found guilty and sentencing was adjourned to 20 September 2021.

  • 14 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for an operational period of 2 years on the attempted fraud charge
  • 9 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for an operational period of 2 years for the providing false or misleading information charges
  • Terms to be served concurrently
Restitution N/A
Costs Awarded $32,454.25
Common Law rights extinguished? Yes
Conviction Recorded
Consideration for Prevention

A worker should be truthful about their working status to their medical practitioner and to the insurer throughout their statutory claim for compensation as well as any common law claim.