A truck driver who secretly worked as a scaffolder while receiving workers’ compensation payments has been ordered to repay $71,369 and complete 300 hours of unpaid community work.
Robert Falco, 35, pleaded guilty in the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court last week to a charge of fraudulently obtaining payments.
He was convicted and placed on a two-year community corrections order.
The court heard Falco was involved in a collision while working as a truck driver on March 2, 2016. Two months later he stopped work, lodged a successful claim for post-traumatic stress disorder and began receiving workers’ compensation payments.
A tip-off in 2018 sparked an investigation which found Falco earned more than $57,000 while working as a scaffolder from May 2017 to October 2018.
During that time, he submitted 17 Certificates of Capacity declaring that he wasn’t working.
“The workers’ compensation scheme supports people who cannot work due to a workplace injury – it can’t be used to supplement income while working,” said WorkSafe’s Insurance Business Unit executive director Roger Arnold.
“Most injured workers do the right thing, but there is no excuse for dishonesty.
“WorkSafe will not hesitate to make an example of anyone trying to cheat the system for personal gain.”