A truck driver who fraudulently claimed almost $48,000 in workers compensation payments has been ordered to pay the money back, and slapped with an additional $3000 fine.
Jarryd Schembri pleaded guilty in the Sale Magistrates' Court in Victoria this week to two charges of fraudulently obtaining payments, after he lodged a successful workers compensation claim in March 2019.
At the time, the 29-year-old said he had injured his neck, back and shoulder pushing hay bales off a truck, and he later submitted certificates declaring he was not working between September 2020 and November 2021, according to WorkSafe.
However, the work cover authority investigated Schembri and found he had worked for an earthmoving contractor at Gippsland since October 2020.
Schembri failed to tell his doctor or insurer he was working, and it wasn't until the investigation began that he told the insurer he was going back to work, WorkSafe said.
"Workers compensation fraud is a serious crime that diverts resources away from those who truly need it," insurance business unit executive director Roger Arnold said.
"WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who attempts to cheat the system for personal gain."
Schembri was ordered to repay $47,509 and was fined $3000 without conviction.
Fraudulent claims undermined the scheme's ability to support injured workers, Mr Arnold said.