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Worker pleads guilty to WorkSafe fraud

Date: 
Thursday, 11 October, 2012 - 11:00
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions

A Victorian worker receiving compensation benefits for a back injury while working in a caryard has been ordered to repay more than $55,000 and perform 350 hours of unpaid community work.

Reinhart Schmid, of Sunbury, pleaded guilty at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court to fraudulently obtaining payments and false information under the Accident Compensation Act 1985.

The court heard Schmid injured his back in September 2008 while getting into his car during his employment as a sales representative. He continued to work on modified duties, but almost a year later claimed his injury had worsened and had to cease all employment.

While receiving weekly compensation benefits for his injury, surveillance carried out in August 2010 found Schmid working at a Coburg North car sales business, where he was seen driving and maintaining vehicles.

Following an independent medical examination, where he falsely stated he wasn’t working, his compensation payments were terminated.

Schmid received $55,530 in weekly payments from WorkSafe Victoria from July 2009 to December 2010.

“This sentence should send a strong message to the community that fraud is serious and when detected, it will be investigated and lead to a prosecution,” said executive director of WorkSafe Victoria’s injury support and service division, Len Boehm.

“The courts are taking this issue seriously and while working and receiving benefits is permissible, claimants must advise WorkSafe so any adjustments can be made.”