Tradie caught on the tiles to repay more than $90,000

A Melbourne tiler who injured his back while working for his brother-in-law's company has been convicted and ordered to repay $92,774 after he returned to work while continuing to receive workers compensation payments.


Rahmatullah Jafari, 28, was sentenced in the Dandenong Magistrates' Court on 16 November after pleading guilty to one charge of fraudulently obtaining payments.

He was also placed on a two-year Community Corrections Order requiring him to perform 240 hours of unpaid community work.

Jafari's employer, Excellent Tiling and Waterproofing Pty Ltd, was separately fined $1,000 without conviction after pleading guilty to one charge of failing to notify that a worker who had been receiving weekly payments had returned to work.

The court heard Jafari lodged a workers compensation claim after sustaining a back injury in September 2019 and continued receiving payments until February 2022 when the fraud was uncovered.

An investigation found that while receiving workers compensation, Jafari had undertaken tiling work at a number of properties for not only Excellent Tiling but also for his own tiling company. On all his certificates of capacity Jafari declared he had not worked.

WorkSafe Executive Director Insurance Roger Arnold said this kind of dishonesty undermined the integrity of the WorkCover system.

"Weekly workers compensation payments are there to help Victorian workers who genuinely need help to recover from an injury and get back to work," Mr Arnold said.

"If you are caught cheating the system the consequences will be serious, including having to pay back any payments you were not entitled to."