Mechanic ordered to pay back fraudulent compensation claim
Mechanic Muhammed Faisal, 38, has pleaded guilty and has to repay $96,196 after being caught working while receiving weekly payments from Victoria’s workers compensation scheme. Faisal was charged with fraudulently obtaining payments after he injured his right arm and shoulder while working as a mechanic.
Faisal’s compensation claim was accepted by WorkSafe Victoria in June 2017, and he received weekly payments until November 2019. However, an inspection of Faisal’s financial records later revealed that while receiving injury support, he performed multiple shifts driving taxis for different companies, and also worked as a ride-share driver.
Faisal also attended a number of medical examinations where he failed to inform doctors that he had returned to work and had submitted certificates of capacity declaring he had not earned any income.
Faisal has been placed on a 24-month community corrections order, with a condition to perform 225 hours of community work. In sentencing, the court took into account Faisal’s agreement to repay the full amount he had fraudulently claimed prior to the hearing.
WorkSafe Victoria’s Insurance Business Unit Executive Director Roger Arnold said those who try to defraud the compensation scheme were hurting every injured Victorian worker who needed support.
“The vast majority of injured workers want to do the right thing and return to work as soon as it is safe to, but there will always be a small minority who are tempted to cheat the system for their own benefit. Compensation is there to support workers and WorkSafe will not hesitate to take action against the kind of dishonesty that undermines the integrity of the entire scheme,” Arnold said.
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