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'Dishonest' truck driver on workers' comp must repay $70,000

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A truck driver who fraudulently received workers' compensation payments has been convicted and ordered to repay more than $70,000.

WorkSafe Victoria says a tip-off it received in 2018 sparked an investigation into Robert Falco, 35, and it was found that he earned more than $57,000 while working as a scaffolder from May 2017 to October 2018.

During this period he had submitted 17 Certificates of Capacity declaring that he was not working. He had been receiving workers’ compensation payments for post-traumatic stress disorder after being involved in a collision while working as a truck driver in March 2016.

“The workers’ compensation scheme supports people who cannot work due to a workplace injury – it can’t be used to supplement income while working,” WorkSafe's Insurance Business Unit Executive Director Roger Arnold said today.

“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.”

Falco pleaded guilty to a charge of fraudulently obtaining payments last week in the Ringwood Magistrates Court, which also placed him on a two-year community corrections order to complete 300 hours of unpaid community work.