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Undeclared income leads to hard time for worker’s compensation recipient

Publisher
Comcare
Date published
January 2015

Relevant impacts: Reputational impact, financial impact and government outcomes impact.

A former ACT Ambulance Driver was convicted of defrauding Comcare in 2015 after failing to declare his employment as a taxi driver whilst also receiving worker’s compensation benefits, resulting in him being overpaid $64,418.62.

The man had an accepted worker’s compensation claim with Comcare due to a workplace injury in 1991 and was paid fortnightly incapacity payments until 2011. During this time, he failed to declare to Comcare that he had another source of income.

A Comcare investigation uncovered that the injured employee worked as a sole trader taxi driver for a Canberra taxi company between April 2007 and December 2010. This was supported by surveillance footage.

In the course of investigation, the injured employee confessed to Comcare he had been paid to work as a taxi driver between 2006 and 2010, and admitted to knowingly providing false statements in a periodic review form.

He pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and was sentenced to 2 years in prison. He was also ordered to repay Comcare $64,418.62.

Related countermeasures

Use declarations or acknowledgments to both communicate and confirm that a person understands their obligations and the consequences for non-compliance. The declaration could be written or verbal, and should encourage compliance and deter fraud.

Automatically match data with another internal or external source to obtain or verify relevant details or supporting evidence. This countermeasure is supported by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's Guidelines on data matching in Australian government administration.

 Investigate fraud in line with the Australian Government Investigation Standards (AGIS).

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