Sentence for compo fraud

Thursday, 04 September, 2008

A Loch Sport labourer faces the possibility of six months in gaol after pleading guilty to fraudulently obtaining nearly $17,000 in workers compensation payments.

The Sale Magistrates Court heard that Brett Thomas, 33, injured his back working as a sawmill labourer in Sale in 2003. He received workers compensation payments to cover medical and other expenses related to his injury.

The Court heard, however, that Thomas sought reimbursement for expenses he had not incurred, for those he had previously been reimbursed for, and for expenses he claimed to have paid but had not. These included invoices for ambulance transportation and travel expenses for visits to his doctor, chemist, TAFE and chiropractor on dates he had not attended.

Thomas pleaded guilty on 1 September to eight counts of fraudulently obtaining payments under the Accident Compensation Act 1985.

He was convicted and ordered to repay $16,628 plus court costs of $1536. Thomas was also sentenced to six months in prison, to commence if he commits any further offences in the next 18 months.

WorkSafe executive director Len Boehm said WorkSafe is committed to doing everything it can to ensure injured workers receive the care and support they need to re-enter the workplace and get on with their life.

“But we will not support fraudulent behaviour that attempts to take advantage of the system,” he said.


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