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20-01-2017-Brisbane

Date

20 January 2017

Charges

One charge of fraud

Three charges of providing false or misleading information
Court

Brisbane

Magistrate

Anne Thacker

Plea

Guilty

Case

For claiming compensation while working and for providing a forged medical certificate

Facts

The worker lodged a claim for compensation on 15 February 2013 for ‘contact dermatitis’ due to exposure to chemicals over a period of time from 14 December 2012 during the course of his employment as a labourer/stonemason.  While the claim was being determined, the worker was imprisoned (for unrelated offences) and the claim was suspended between 3 March 2013 and 23 September 2013.

The worker made contact with the insurer on 27 September 2013 wanting to proceed with his claim.  The worker had previously provided medical certificates certifying no capacity for any type of work between 15 February 2013 and 30 March 2013, however, he advised he was still following up medical certificates for the period 14 December 2012 onwards. On 4 December 2013, he provided a medical certificate certifying him as totally unfit for any type of work between 15 December 2012 and 5 February 2013. The claim was accepted and compensation was paid for the period between 15 December 2012 and 2 March 2013, totalling $12,268.30.

The worker lodged a Notice of Claim for Damages on 24 June 2015 which included information that he had worked between 6 February 2013 and 25 February 2013 in a similar role for another employer. There was also a discrepancy over when the worker first sought medical treatment for the work related injury.

Further investigations were conducted and confirmed the worker was working in a similar role at the time he lodged his claim when he allegedly had no capacity for any type of work.

Additional investigations also revealed the medical certificate dated 13 December 2012 provided by the worker had been falsified as he had not attended that medical practice in 2012.

The worker therefore obtained compensation for which he was not entitled.

Penalty

Charge 1 (Fraud): 6 months imprisonment for head sentence
Charges 2 to 4 (False or misleading information or documents): 3 months imprisonment on each count

To be served concurrently with parole release on 17 June 2017. (Worker was in breach of a separate suspended sentence which was activated in full)

Restitution

$12,268.30

Costs

$9,910.60 – costs to Workers Compensation Regulators
$12,268.30 – restitution to WorkCover Queensland

Conviction

Recorded

Consideration for Prevention

A worker should not provide false and misleading information and documents to an insurer to obtain compensation for which they are not entitled.

Last updated
22 June 2017

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