Compensation fraudster to repay almost $111,000

A Warrnambool machine operator and business owner has been ordered to repay $110, 920 after being caught defrauding Victoria's workers compensation scheme.


Robert Rentsch, 67, was sentenced in the Warrnambool Magistrates' Court today after pleading guilty to one charge of fraudulently obtaining payments.

He was convicted, sentenced to a 24 month community corrections order and ordered to complete 240 hours of community work, in addition to the restitution amount.

The court heard that Rentsch received almost $111,000 in support payments between February 2017 and April 2019 after lodging a claim for a crush injury he suffered to both feet.

An investigation later revealed that Rentsch had continued to work while receiving payments, earning more than $190,000 through his business. This included farm maintenance work and travelling to NSW where he operated a tractor and stonecrusher.

The court heard that during this time Rentsch continued to tell his doctor that he was not working and was issued with medical certificates of capacity that stated he was unable to work.

WorkSafe Insurance Business Unit Executive Director Roger Arnold said any offence against the compensation system would be met with serious consequences.

"People who defraud the WorkSafe compensation scheme for their own personal gain take money and resources away from injured workers in legitimate need," Mr Arnold said.

"This fraudulent behaviour threatens the integrity of the entire scheme and WorkSafe won't hesitate to prosecute anyone who seeks to game the system for their own profit."