Compensation fraud ordered to repay more than $124,000

An airline service operator in Tullamarine has been convicted and ordered to pay back $124,322 after he was caught working as a storeman while receiving workers compensation payments.


Andy Tiet, 49, pleaded guilty in the Sunshine Magistrates' Court last week to one rolled-up charge of obtaining financial advantage by deception and two rolled-up charges of fraudulently obtaining payments.

He was sentenced to a Community Corrections Order for two years, requiring him to perform 220 hours of unpaid community work.

The court heard Tiet injured his back at work after slipping on stairs in August 2018.

The man's compensation claim was accepted by his self-insured employer, Qantas, and he began receiving weekly payments.

In June 2021, Qantas arranged surveillance of Tiet, which showed him attending a supermarket warehouse in Laverton for extended periods.

The matter was referred to WorkSafe and an investigation revealed that from August 2018 to July 2021, Tiet had obtained $119,457 in compensation payments and $4,865 in superannuation from Qantas while secretly working as a storeman and earning a gross income of almost $200,000.

Tiet never reported any injuries or physical restrictions to his warehouse employer, yet continued to sign certificates of capacity declaring he was not working.

WorkSafe Executive Director Insurance Roger Arnold said all compensation fraud, including against self-insurers, was a criminal act under the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act.

"It's one of the most callous things someone can do: manipulate a system designed to help vulnerable injured workers and their families," Mr Arnold said.

"WorkSafe can and will take action against anyone who makes fraudulent claims, be it against WorkCover or a self-insurer."