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Date 21 April 2017

Charge One – Section 533 Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (WCRA) – Attempted Fraud
Charge Two – Six – Section 534(2) – False or misleading information or documents

Court Brisbane Magistrates Court
Plea Guilty
Case For attempting to defraud insurer by failing to declare employment in the claim for damages

On 1 October 2012 the worker lodged an application for compensation with the insurer for an injury to his back which occurred on 29 September 2012 while working as an underground miner.

The claim was accepted on 29 October 2012. The worker was paid compensation from 9 October 2012 until 25 October 2013. A notice of assessment was issued on 7 November 2013.

The worker lodged a Notice of Claim for Damages dated 16 September 2014.

Throughout the common law process the worker claimed he had not returned to any form of work at all, not claimed Centrelink and had lived off his savings since he was made redundant in July 2013. The worker has not filed an income tax return in the 2009 to 2013 inclusive financial years.

The insurer conducted surveillance on 27 August 2015 and on 25 and 26 November 2015 and found the worker working as a cab driver.

Further enquiries revealed the worker commenced working as a cab driver on 10 May 2014 to current.

A complaint was filed in the Brisbane Magistrate Court charging the worker with 6 separate offences under the WCRA. The charges included: one charge of fraud pursuant to section 533 (for attempting to defraud the insurer), and five charges of providing a false and misleading information/documents/statements to the insurer pursuant to section 534.
PenaltyThe worker was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 12 months for the fraud charge and 4 months for each of the false and misleading charges to be wholly suspended for a period of three years.
Restitution$Nil (attempt only)
Costs$10,000.00 – Workers Compensation Regulators Costs
Conviction Recorded
Consideration for Prevention

A worker should declare any work they have undertaken in their claim for damages so a fair assessment can be made in the calculation of damages.

A worker should be honest about his/her symptoms and capacity to work when speaking to the insurer and/or medical practitioners.