Compensation fraud ordered to pay more than $50,000

A truck driver has been ordered to pay $50,509 after he was discovered secretly working while receiving workers compensation payments.

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Published: 20 January 2023

Jarryd Schembri, 29, pleaded guilty in the Sale Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to two rolled-up charges of fraudulently obtaining payments.

He was fined $3,000 without conviction, and ordered to repay $47,509.

The court heard that in March 2019, Schembri lodged a successful compensation claim for injuries to his neck, back and shoulder caused by pushing hay bales off a truck.

Between September 2020 and November 2021, he submitted certificates of capacity declaring that he was not working.

However, a WorkSafe investigation found that Schembri had worked for a Gippsland earthmoving contractor since October 2020.

He failed to disclose his employment to his GP or insurer, and it wasn't until a year later – when the investigation started – that Schembri informed his insurer he was heading back to work.

WorkSafe's Insurance Business Unit Executive Director Roger Arnold said fraudulent activity undermined the scheme’s ability to provide support to injured workers.

"Workers compensation fraud is a serious crime that diverts resources away from those who truly need it," Mr Arnold said.

"WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who attempts to cheat the system for personal gain."