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21-11-2019-Maroochydore

Date 21 November 2019
Charges

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

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

Court Maroochydore Magistrates Court
Plea Plea of Guilty
Case The worker was charged with defrauding the insurer by failing to notify the insurer of work which they were undertaking while in receipt of workers’ compensation benefits. The worker made false or misleading representations to the insurer in relation to their employment status.
Facts

On 28 January 2018, the worker lodged a workers’ compensation claim stating that they suffered an injury to their shoulder in the course of carrying out home care duties for their employer. The claim was accepted, and workers’ compensation benefits were paid.

The worker undertook work as a driver for a ride-share company while in receipt of workers’ compensation benefits and failed to disclose this to the insurer.

Records obtained from the ride-share company indicated that the worker had driven passengers on 306 occasions between January 2018 and August 2018 charging fares of $8,867 while in receipt of benefits.

A claims representative from the insurer asked the worker whether he had been driving for money and he denied this, falsely stating that he had no other source of income.

The worker later attempted to excuse their offending by claiming that the income earned from driving all went toward servicing a debt and they did not actually receive any money themselves. This was not considered to be a reasonable excuse.

Penalty

15 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for an operational period of 2 years on the fraud charge

6 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for an operational period of 2 years on each of the other charges

Terms to be served concurrently.

Restitution $44,525.11
Costs $0
Common Law rights extinguished? Yes
Conviction Recorded
Consideration for Prevention A worker should notify the insurer of any return to a calling and be honest about their capacity for employment to the insurer and to medical practitioners.