Truck driver fined $50K for workers compensation fraud

Tuesday, 31 January, 2023

Truck driver fined $50K for workers compensation fraud

Truck driver Jarryd Schembri, 29, has been ordered to pay $50,509 after he was discovered to be secretly working while receiving workers compensation payments. Schembri pleaded guilty in the Sale Magistrates’ Court to two rolled-up charges of fraudulently obtaining payments. He was fined $3000 without conviction and ordered to repay $47,509.

In March 2019, Schembri lodged a successful compensation claim for injuries to his neck, back and shoulder caused by pushing hay bales off a truck. Between September 2020 and November 2021, he submitted certificates of capacity declaring that he was not working.

However, an investigation by WorkSafe Victoria found that Schembri had worked for a Gippsland earthmoving contractor since October 2020. He failed to disclose his employment to his GP or insurer, and it wasn’t until a year later — when the investigation started — that Schembri informed his insurer that he was heading back to work. WorkSafe’s Insurance Business Unit Executive Director, Roger Arnold, said fraudulent activity undermined the scheme’s ability to provide support to injured workers.

“Workers compensation fraud is a serious crime that diverts resources away from those who truly need it. WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who attempts to cheat the system for personal gain,” Arnold said.

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