Worker fined $110,920 for workers compensation fraud
A Warrnambool machine operator and business owner has been ordered to repay $110,920 after he was caught defrauding Victoria’s workers compensation scheme. Robert Rentsch, 67, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulently obtaining payments. Rentsch was convicted, sentenced to a 24-month community corrections order and ordered to complete 240 hours of community work, in addition to the restitution amount.
Rentsch reportedly received almost $111,000 in support payments between February 2017 and April 2019 after lodging a claim for a crush injury he suffered to both feet. An investigation later revealed that Rentsch had continued to work while receiving payments, earning more than $190,000 through his business. This included farm maintenance work and travelling to NSW where he operated a tractor and a stonecrusher.
The court heard that during this time, Rentsch continued to tell his doctor that he was not working and was issued with medical certificates of capacity that stated he was unable to work. WorkSafe Victoria’s Insurance Business Unit Executive Director Roger Arnold said any offence against the compensation scheme will result in serious consequences.
“People who defraud the WorkSafe compensation scheme for their own personal gain take money and resources away from injured workers in legitimate need. This fraudulent behaviour threatens the integrity of the entire scheme and WorkSafe won’t hesitate to prosecute anyone who seeks to game the system for their own profit,” Arnold said.
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