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Justice served through prosecution of workers compensation fraud

(11 May 2018) South Australian workers and employers can be confident in ReturnToWorkSA’s vigilance in prosecuting dishonesty in South Australia’s workers compensation system.

On 20 April 2018, in the Adelaide Magistrates Court (Criminal), Magistrate Fisher convicted a worker on all four dishonesty counts under the Return To Work Act. The worker received a suspended sentence of imprisonment of 2 months and 3 days. The worker was also ordered to pay restitution and legal/investigation costs to ReturnToWorkSA.

In making his sentencing remarks, Magistrate Fisher stated ‘I have formed the view that having regard to the seriousness of the offending here that no other sentence would be an appropriate sentence than a sentence of imprisonment in relation to this matter.’ Magistrate Fisher went on to say that ‘…when it comes to imposing penalty for offences of this kind, general deterrence is very important so people are deterred by the penalties that are imposed from making false statements in the first place so that the system is protected.’

Rob Cordiner, CEO of ReturnToWorkSA advises that ‘this recent decision is a reminder to those who wish to deceive the Scheme. The vast majority of workers and employers do the right thing. However, our enforcement strategy for dealing with dishonesty is robust, as we recognise that employers pay their insurance premium to support workers with legitimate needs relating to their work injuries.’

‘The message is, if you defraud the work injury insurance system by making untrue claims and seeking benefits you are not entitled to, ReturnToWorkSA will pursue criminal charges. Since mid-2014, ReturnToWorkSA has had successful prosecutions against 28 people for dishonesty in the Scheme. There are serious consequences and personal impacts for dishonesty.’ said Mr Cordiner.

If you are aware of someone defrauding the workers compensation system, you can call ReturnToWorkSA on 13 18 55 or make an online submission.