Sydney man sentenced for workers compensation fraud

State Insurance Regulatory Authority

On 5 October 2022 at Newtown Local Court, Luis Manuel Farinha Alves was sentenced to a 12 month intensive correction order for defrauding the NSW workers compensation scheme.

Mr Alves will serve nine months in home detention and was ordered to repay $170,000 to the NSW workers compensation scheme for money that he was not entitled to, and $38,630 in legal costs.

SIRA prosecuted Mr Alves on a charge of obtaining financial advantage by deception/dishonesty under section 192E(1)(b) of the NSW Crimes Act 1900 after an investigation revealed that he failed to disclose his income while receiving workers compensation payments.

SIRA Chief Executive Adam Dent said that the worker was found to have willingly defrauded the NSW workers compensation system.

“Lying to receive workers compensation payments undermines the ability of the scheme to provide care and support to genuinely injured workers,” Mr Dent said.

“It’s essential that workers act honestly so that the scheme can support those who need it.

“SIRA will always take steps to protect the NSW workers compensation scheme from fraud and won’t hesitate to prosecute anyone that fraudulently obtains money they’re not entitled to.”

Mr Alves, a self-employed tradesperson, began receiving weekly workers compensation payments between April 2001 and December 2017.

SIRA started investigating Mr Alves after receiving information that he was failing to disclose his income while receiving weekly payments.

The investigation revealed that Mr Alves had been employed as a bus driver since 2011 and that he failed to notify his insurer of his employment and income.

Between 2011 to 2017, Mr Alves received $170,000 in workers compensation payments, which he has now been ordered to repay.

Mr Alves pleaded guilty to the charge in June this year. Magistrate Stapleton found that it was a serious offence, and that Mr Alves willingly defrauded the NSW workers compensation scheme and showed no remorse.

Mr Alves has the right to appeal the sentence.

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