A crowd controller has been convicted of fraud in Heidelberg Magistrates’ court after an investigation revealed he received almost $190,000 in compensation benefits for a workplace injury while continuing to work.
He was injured at a nightclub in Brunswick in 2008 but despite receiving compensation payments, he resumed work as a crowd controller in June 2010 and worked shifts for four different employers until July 2015. The man was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, wholly suspended for an operational period of two years over the fraud which took place over a six-year period.
An investigation conducted by WorkSafe Victoria found Cedar Ferry attended several medical examinations where he supplied false information about his injury and failed to tell doctors that he had returned to work.
WorkSafe said that given the large sum of money obtained and the duration of the offending, he was warranted a prison sentence. However, the court was told that Mr. Ferry had repaid the total amount to WorkSafe last week.
“The Victorian workers’ compensation scheme is set up to help injured workers get the support and treatment they need to get better and to get back to work when it is safe to do so,” said WorkSafe’s Acting General Counsel Susannah Palmer.
“Many people who worked on Mr. Ferry’s case, including his own doctor and other medical professionals concerned about his injuries, have had their time wasted and would have every right to feel terribly let down by his actions.”
Ms. Palmer said WorkSafe has successfully prosecuted 16 workers for fraud in the past 12 months.
“The vast majority of injured workers want to do the right thing but there will always be a small minority who are tempted to defraud the system. We will find them and hold them to account,” she said.