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Caught in the act: Worker fined $75k for falsifying documents

By Kace O'Neill | |5 minute read
Caught In The Act Worker Fined 75 000 For Falsifying Documents

A worker has been convicted on charges of claiming workers’ compensation by falsifying documents.

A machinery operator who falsified documents to continue claiming workers’ compensation has been convicted, placed on a community correction order and ordered to repay a total of $75,014. The convicted individual is James Primmer, a 36-year-old who was sentenced in the Geelong Magistrates Court on Monday, 29 April. He pled guilty to a single charge of fraudulently obtaining payments.

Along with the commitment to repaying the large sum of money, the 12-month community correction order includes a condition requiring Primmer to complete 150 hours of unpaid community work.


Primmer originally began receiving workers’ compensation after injuring his lower back and leg in 2014. Primmer then continued to receive the weekly workers’ compensation payments until the WorkSafe investigation uncovered that all injury compensation paid to him after May 2021 was based on falsified certificates of capacity.

According to the NSW government, the following subjects can be classed as worker fraud:

  • Claiming for an injury that didn’t occur at work.
  • Failure to notify of return to work or change in income.
  • Non-disclosure of multiple claims relating to the same injury.
  • False or overstated travel and/or expense claims.
  • Falsifying medical certificates.
  • Supplying false or misleading information in relation to a claim.

It may indicate fraud if:

  • The worker’s descriptions of the incident conflict with medical findings, or the circumstances described do not fit the type of injury received.
  • The worker delays reporting the claim without a reasonable explanation.

Investigators also discovered that between June 2021 and February 2022, Primmer had returned with three different employers and had failed to disclose this to his insurer, thus displaying that Primmer, across the board, committed somewhat deliberate malpractice.

Workers’ compensation is an important resource that is relied upon by a number of workers to keep them afloat during trying times when they have experienced work-related injuries or just injuries in general.

The system itself has come under fire for being a slow process when workers have attempted to access it in the past, which makes Primmer’s actions unacceptable, as many people in tough situations needed that money, while he was merely exploiting the system.

Return to Work Victoria executive director Jason Lardelli said instances of fraudulent behaviour, while relatively rare, were deeply disappointing.

“Injured workers rely on us to provide support and help them return to work, and it is simply unacceptable to fraudulently take money intended for those in legitimate need,” Lardelli said.

“Thankfully, the vast majority do the right thing, but those who deliberately try to deceive the system for personal gain will be found.”



An employee is a person who has signed a contract with a company to provide services in exchange for pay or benefits. Employees vary from other employees like contractors in that their employer has the legal authority to set their working conditions, hours, and working practises.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.