Penalty for workers comp fraud

Tuesday, 13 September, 2005

A St Mary's company, Top Value Furniture Pty Ltd, and its sole director, Frans Lourens Poppeliers, has been found guilty of workers compensation fraud.

The company has been ordered to pay $48,824 and Poppeliers placed on a one-year good behaviour bond by NSW Chief Industrial Magistrate George Miller. The fraud was uncovered when an employee of the company suffered a back injury in January 2003, and was taken by ambulance to Mt Druitt Hospital for treatment of lower back muscular strain.

The injured worker complained to WorkCover's Claims Assistance Service after the company failed to provide him with details of his workers compensation insurance. After failing to comply with two WorkCover notices to provide the information, the company was issued with a $200 penalty notice and ordered to produce wage records.

Wage records revealed that the company had employed at least 24 employees, and had avoided paying $24,412 in workers compensation premiums. The court ordered the employer to pay double the avoided workers compensation premium of $48,824 under Section 156 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.

WorkCover NSW CEO, Jon Blackwell said: "Employers who attempt to avoid paying their workers compensation premiums disadvantage all employers by increasing the cost of running the scheme. "WorkCover is committed to detecting and prosecuting any employer who attempts to cheat the scheme."

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