In a story that has had more twist and turns than a bestselling thriller, worker Joseph Hosny, who was assaulted and injured by Wilfred actor Jason Gann, has himself now been charged with defrauding WorkCover.
Injured worker now charged with fraud in continuing Wilfred saga
By Co-Author Madame Zena
As extensively reported in the media and on workcovervictimsdiary blog (see: WorkCover is suing actor Jason Gann to recover loss-of-income payments and medical costs incurred by injured worker )
Mr Joseph Hosny was assaulted by Mr Jason Gann, who stars in the television series Wilfred, whilst working as a bus driver at the races at Flemington in 2007. Mr Hosny was employed to drive patrons around Flemington racecourse in 2007 when he told Gann and his girlfriend they would have to wait for the next bus. The drunken actor abused Mr Hosny before punching him repeatedly in the face as other passengers tried to restrain him. Mr Hosny suffered a severe psychological injury as a consequence of the attack and was deemed unlikely to ever work again.
To recap this tale to date:
- Mr Hosny made a WorkCover claim for weekly payments and medical expenses due to a psychological injury he suffered as a result of the assault that occurred in the course of his employment.
- WorkCover accepted Mr Hosny’s claim for his psychological injury.
- Mr Gann was charged over the assault on Mr Hosny and was found guilty.
- Mr Hosny, who has been in receipt of WorkCover weekly payments and medicals since 2007, was also successful in a common law damages action against Mr Gann. Mr Hosny was awarded $325,000 against Mr Gann.
- Mr Gann, who is now based in the USA, to date has refused to pay the judgement to Mr Hosny.
- WorkCover is also pursuing Mr Gann in a separate recovery action for $400,000 to recovery the monies that WorkCover has paid to Mr Hosny in weekly payments and medical expenses to date.
- Mr Hosny bought a separate claim in the Magistrates Court last year seeking to have WorkCover provide him with a home to live in. Mr Hosny made the claim on the basis that suitable accommodation fell within the definition of medical and like expense. He was unsuccessful in this part of his WorkCover claim.
Mr Hosny is accused of “secretly working” whilst receiving weekly compensation payments.
Mr Hosny said, through his lawyer, that he vigorously denies all charges.
Given Mr Hosny is facing some 230+ criminal charges for defrauding WorkCover there presumably must be more to this story than the brief details provided in the Sunday Herald Sun article – namely that Mr Hosny was “secretly working” while receiving weekly compensation payments.
It will be interesting to see what further twists and turn this extraordinary case takes as it unfolds further.
Wilfred victim accused of fraud
Sunday Herald Sun February 15, 2014
A BUS driver awarded $325,000 in damages after being bashed by actor Jason Gann, who plays a sociopathic, foul-mouthed, bong-smoking dog in the hit comedy series Wilfred, is facing hundreds of fraud charges stemming from the incident.
Joesph Hosny was assaulted by Gann while driving a shuttle bus for the Victorian Racing Club on Derby Day, 2007.
He is now accused of cheating WorkCover by secretly working while receiving weekly compensation payments and faces 115 criminal charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment, and 129 fraud charges under the Accident Compensation Act, up to two years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $140,000.
It is another blow for Mr Hosny, 52, who last year failed in a bid to have the VRC provide him with a rent-free home and has never received a cent of his compensation.
His lawyer, Nowicki Carbone partner John Karantzis, said his client “vigorously denies all charges and will fight every single charge”.
“Our client is severely psychologically disabled and mentally ill from the injuries he received from Jason Gann,” Mr Karantzis said.
Mr Hosny was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and left unable to work after the attack outside the Birdcage at Flemington Racecourse. In 2008 Gann pleaded guilty to bashing him in a drunken rage.
Gann abused Mr Hosny and punched him repeatedly in the face after he told the actor and his girlfriend the shuttle bus was full and they would have to wait for the next run.
After passengers pushed Gann from the bus, he returned and tried to drag Mr Hosny from his seat and punched him again.
Gann then got off the bus but tried to open the driver’s door and punched the window until Mr Hosny drove away.
In June 2012 the County Court ordered Gann to pay Mr Hosny $325,000 in damages.
Justice Sandra Davis said Mr Hosny was “homeless, scared of people, has panic attacks and suicidal thoughts’’.
Mr Hosny’s lawyer said his client had split from his wife shortly after the assault and was left destitute and homeless.
In a 2009 County Court affidavit, Mr Hosny said he was so depressed he had poured boiling water over his chest.
In April last year Mr Hosny returned to the magistrates’ court claiming he was entitled to a free home from the VRC as part of his treatment on the basis of an earlier letter from his treating psychiatrist that said: “… sleeping on the couch at his brother’s flat … is a significant negative and propagating his ‘already considerable’ distress”.
The court heard Mr Hosny had “shifted around various forms of accommodation, such as the Salvation Army, backpacker hostels and motels” before being allowed to live “under the same roof” as his estranged wife, in with his ex-wife in a house belonging to his father-in-law, in return for paying the $1380 a month rent.
“He believes that he will be evicted if his father-in-law finds out that he is living in that house,” Magistrate Wright said.
Magistrate Brian Wright found there was no legal basis for the claim and dismissed it.
Mr Hosny is also pursuing Gann in the US, seeking $500,000 in payment of the damages and legal costs.
Speaking from the US, Gann told the Sunday Herald Sun that WorkCover was also chasing him for $400,000 to cover the payments it had made to Mr Hosny.
Gann said he had refused to pay, partly on principle and because he could not afford to.
He said he only pleaded guilty to the assault charges because he was advised it would help him avoid a criminal conviction, which would have stopped him working in the US.
Gann co-stars with Elijah Wood in the US version of Wilfred.
Mr Hosny has refused to plea and is due to appear before the Sunshine Magistrates Court on Friday.
This post has been seen 802 times.