Worker convicted over $75,000 fake documents swindle

A machinery operator who falsified documents to continue claiming workers compensation has been convicted, placed on a Community Corrections Order and ordered to repay $75,014.


James Primmer, 36, was sentenced in the Geelong Magistrates' Court on Monday 29 April after pleading guilty to a single charge of fraudulently obtaining payments.

The 12-month Community Corrections Order includes a condition requiring Primmer to complete 150 hours of unpaid community work.

The court heard Primmer began receiving workers compensation after injuring his lower back and leg in 2014.

Primmer continued receiving weekly payments until a WorkSafe investigation uncovered that all injury compensation paid to him after May 2021 was based on falsified certificates of capacity.

Investigators also discovered that between June 2021 and February 2022, Primmer had returned to work with three different employers and had failed to disclose this to his insurer.

Return to Work Victoria Executive Director Jason Lardelli said instances of fraudulent behaviour, while relatively rare, were deeply disappointing.

"Injured workers rely on us to provide support and help them return to work and it is simply unacceptable to fraudulently take money intended for those in legitimate need," Mr Lardelli said.

"Thankfully, the vast majority do the right thing, but those who deliberately try to deceive the system for personal gain will be found."