Outsized outrage! Another WorkCover cheat caught out


Is this rare or the norm?

WorkCover cheat caught out  A woman who lost a leg below the knee in a workplace accident 27 years ago is being chased by authorities over more than $100,000 in benefits.

Another WorkCover cheat caught out

Over the last 2 years 100 people have been prosecuted for defrauding the workers compensation system in Victoria, 88 in NSW and 21 in QLD and have been ordered to repay a total of $7 million.

There is no excusing people who defraud the system, however, it is equally important to realise that statistically very few people do. This is clear from the amount of prosecutions from the last two years – they amount to probably less that 1% of total claims.

However, the media continues to focus on the few and applying fraudulent intent to the many.  It makes no wonder the NSW state Government are applauded every time they cry ‘fraud’ as an excuse for attacking the rights and entitlements of injured workers.

link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrxKq4E7RgA

10 Responses to “Outsized outrage! Another WorkCover cheat caught out”

  1. Whilst I do not condone the actions of people rorting the system, in fact I detest them because it hurts the rest of us, I still wonder about the emphasis placed upon them by the media. The incidence of workers comp fraud is less than 1% in NSW and is similar in other states and yet Derryn Hinch has to have a near heart attack bemoaning one case. We NEVER see news items about insurance companies rorting the system and we know they do. What about the fraud that occurs in big business? Sure they may single out one – Christopher Skase for example but have a look at the positive press his wife received the whole time that news was occurring. I try to write letters (at least 10) to the Murdoch press about workers comp, guess how many they have printed? NONE. Yet when I write about other issues my comments get printed. The point is this – there is extreme bias in the media against injured workers and they twist the facts, Comments about the medical condition of injured workers by untrained news reporters are as bad as medical assessments by untrained case managers. Also notice how they keep repeating the same story over and over again (like Today Tonight which constantly reports on that fraudster woman who claims she has a neck injury – caused by a fall at a shopping centre, and of course there is no mentioning that she was not injured at work)

    What needs to be consistently stated is that injured workers were injured through no fault of their own, they are not rorters, in fact they are usually victims of employer negligence. The 1% who abuse the system should be separated from the rest of us. I have enough pain dealing with my injuries without having to deal with shame and embarrassment for being on an inhumane system. The shame and embarrassment should be born by those who caused the injuries and those who support them by misreporting the facts.

  2. Thanks for your information HuntingWC. Our administrator is currently not able to access this site due to a very serious complication to her injury, so we are all kind of ‘running-a-muk’ & adding our own comments where we can, but not able to help by reposting or answer direct contact with the Administrator. Hope this helps with your question for assistance.

  3. Hi again just wondering if someone could post this story up. Please click on the link below to view the video.



    A counsellor, employed by the Government to look after a seriously ill man, has been caught robbing him day after day.

    However, when he was confronted, the carer alleged he was actually a victim.

    Truckie Jim West has been having a bit of a battle lately. First up, an argument with an angle grinder saw Jim come out second best. Jim has also developed mouth cancer – hence his difficulty in talking.

    Enter Alan Simpson in the name of Workcover. Alan has, for the past twelve months, been engaged in assisting Jim to recover.

    But whenever trusting Jim went outside during one of Alan’s scheduled visits, the crafty counsellor allegedly pocketed the gold coins Jim saves in a biscuit tin.

    On one occasion there was $130 in there and Alan seemed intent on stealing every single one. Now Jim estimates more than $2,000 has been stolen from him.

    To catch a thief – at Jim’s request – cameras were placed in a number of vantage points around the house, and when the damming tapes were shown to Jim, his fears were confirmed.

    With video proof Jim was finally able to put Alan on the spot.

    Alan apologised for his behaviour, and said “I’m just strapped for cash, that’s all.”

    So, how has Workcover handled this? Alan Simpson made a full confession to them before this story went to air, and then they sent out a general media release stating “A Workcover accredited vocational rehabilitation provider was suspended in light of an admission of misconduct.”

    Workover also claimed in the article: “All injured workers were being advised and that Workcover had assured them that a new rehabilitation provider will be in touch with them shortly.”

    Well the man at the centre of this, and the first person you would think Workcover would call, was left in the dark. “They haven’t contacted me yet,” Jim said.



    HuntingWorkcover January 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm
    • I can’t recall Workcover contacting me to find out how the CGU rip offs affected me and my capacity to recover – and they certainly did! Most of the millions that get ripped off are institutional thefts not little people rorts. What that woman did is wrong, but I would still like to know “why?” she did it. I already know why CGU did it – because they are greedy heartless profiteers who are happy to defraud vulnerable injured workers for their profits. She was defrauding a system, not an individual. Doesn’t make it ok, but is perhaps more “victimless crime” than the crimes of the insurer.

  4. Hey all i believe the article above was referring to the case of Rita Mercuri. Read below for further information about this story and click on the video, this was on Today Tonight.
    Rita Mercuri hasn’t worked in 27 years, so why are authorities now chasing her?

    Mercuri is a self-confessed rorter of the welfare system. She claimed to be wheelchair-bound, needing round the clock care and unable to return to work, and taxpayers handed her $112,000.

    Though Mercuri did have her left leg amputated below the knee after a workplace accident almost 30 years ago and hasn’t worked a day since, she is actually not wheelchair-bound. She is therefore being pursued for fraud committed between 2008 and 2010 when WorkCover Victoria paid her almost $60,000 in direct compensation.

    However, that was just the start. She also recruited six carers who allegedly submitted false time-sheets and received payment for hours they didn’t work, splitting the proceeds with Mercuri. She made an extra $52,000 with that little scam.

    Footage of her in action in the 2006 Commonwealth Games Baton Relay, with the help of a prosthetic leg was bound to raise suspicion, and prosecutors also had video of her moving freely using her prosthetic.

    Today she arrived at court in a wheelchair instead.

    Mercuri created a web of lies to hoodwink doctors and WorkCover officials about the extent of her injuries.

    According to WorkSafe’s Deputy Chief Executive Ian Forsyth “it seems to be a pretty extreme case. The person involved has pleaded guilty, but that should serve as a pretty strong warning to anyone out there who is tempted to go down that same path that there is a very strong chance you will be detected.”

    Channel Seven commentator Derryn Hinch says that such behaviour makes his blood boil.

    “There are genuine people out there who have been hurt at work, broken a leg or done something, done their back in and can’t work for five months or ten months, and should be getting paid. Employers pay a heap in WorkCover premiums, and it’s being ripped off by the millions by frauds,” he said.

    Over the last two years in Queensland 21 people have been prosecuted for defrauding the system. In New South Wales there’s been 88 prosecutions and 100 in Victoria. During that time the courts ordered almost $7 million to be repaid.

    The warning to those trying to make an easy buck is this: “We investigate, we inspect, we’ll prosecute if it’s warranted, and we’ll go all the way through to court proceedings,” Forsyth warned.

    HuntingWorkcover January 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm
  5. It would be very interesting to know how much Workcover spent by “stalking” an amputee (I guess at least $500,000 of taxpayers’ money) and we know already they won’t tell it, why, simply because behind their police style propaganda there is a black market of established business among well known parties as friends well known as biased professionals and service providers which aim is to deny as first step, deny as second step, be silent for 2 years and leave the injured without money, wait for a Court airing then make a lose offer and avoid Judge orders. This is Workcover, a system which give wealth and prosperity to all those parties, a system made up of “happy friends” who share a business which is funded by tax payers who are the people Workcover is bullying to.

    Now tell me, that lady lost a leg due to a dysfunctional and unsafe work place and tell me where was the Workcover? Did they prevent the accident? Did the amputee had to fight her case through a Court case and spent money on Lawyers? Did Workcover gave that lady her normal life back? Did the amputee have her leg back??? Is that fair and legal that TV operators and journalist harassed and bullied an “amputee”???

    I can’t believe we live in a society managed by “sad” and ignorant people who have the power to judge others, I see an amputee who tried to cheer up her life for a day instead of dying in a bed of hospital so that Workcover punished her!

    Xchangingvictim January 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    • Well said Xchangingvictim. My heart goes out to this woman too, Knowing the meanness and cruelty of the Workover, as all we injured workers do, it’s easy to imagine that this woman has been left to rot on an impossible income with no hope of employment to raise her self esteem. Ripping off is not right, but what do you do when in reality you are being seriously ripped off too!

      • Never ever give up, remember that said that any action has its consequence? The whole Workcover system is ripping you off, you can be 100% sure that they will leave too much debris behind and there is where you work on. They may not hide the truth forever unless you give up and if you do, that means you’re dying slowly day by day and bite your tongue anytime you thing about your loss.

        Never give up Pauline this is my secret, I’m collecting evidences brick by brick day by day, it’s an helpful exercise (and even stressful) to keep me continue “living” and fight the bullies. It’s a very hard task because I am facing an adversarial system which not only denies support but also intentionally make things hard, it takes time but you’ll get something back, even if not your money back at least you’re alive and keep going on….

        Xchangingvictim January 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm
  6. Very good point Paula. The small amount of fraud committed by injured workers is nothing compared to the obvious fraud being committed by insurance companies and the NSW government (as well as other state governments). The media itself is an employer and has a vested interest is seeing the end of workers comp. We have a truly vile system.

  7. Every day injured workers are defrauded by their Claims Managers. Refunds withheld, weekly payments terminated without notice or reason, urgent treatments denied, impossibly miserable “compensation” payments forced on vulnerable injured workers to remove them from the system. The real fraud in the system is perpetrated against injured workers, not by them.