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Man ordered to repay $110k for defrauding workers' comp

A man has been ordered to repay more than $110,000 and complete 240 hours of community work after being caught defrauding Victoria's workers' compensation scheme.

Robert Rentsch, 67, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulently obtaining payments in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Thursday, following an investigation by WorkSafe Victoria.

He was convicted and sentenced to a 24-month community corrections order and directed to pay $110,920 restitution.

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

However, an investigation revealed he continued to work during that period despite telling his doctor he was unfit to do so and earned upwards of $190,000 through his business.

This included physical farm maintenance work and operating a tractor and stone crusher.

WorkSafe Insurance Business Unit executive director Roger Arnold said Mr Rentsch's case served as a warning to others thinking about defrauding the system.

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