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Workers' comp fraudster caught running own business returns $100,000

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A Melbourne business manager has paid back $100,000 in overpayments to WorkSafe Victoria, after he was caught running his own consultancy in secret while still receiving benefits from the state’s workers’ compensation scheme.

WorkSafe says 41-year-old Dale Monk was sentenced in the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to one rolled-up charge of fraudulently obtaining workers’ compensation payments.

He was convicted and fined $10,000 in addition to the restitution amount, WorkSafe says in a statement today.

The statement says the court heard he lodged a claim for mental injury caused by a bullying allegation in June 2019, and subsequently received $150,120 in support payments up until February last year.

An investigation later found he had earned about $19,000 from a consultancy he was operating in secret from November 2019 to September 2020, and during this time he continued to tell his doctor he was not able to work.

In one of the doctor’s medical certificates issued in February 2020, he was assessed to be still building up his confidence and treating his anxiety but the next day he commenced three days of consultations with a client, the court heard.

WorkSafe Insurance Business Unit Executive Director Roger Arnold says any offence against the compensation system undermines public trust in it.

"Those who defraud the system for personal gain jeopardise the integrity of the entire scheme," Mr Arnold said. “Any fraudulent behaviour will be met with very serious, criminal consequences.”