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Issue 365 - 14 February 2013

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Industry News
OHS managers out-earn bosses
Bullying review greeted with caution
Right to silence clarified
Rebuke on building code
Jailed for fraud
Safe Work Australia Awards
Training News
WHS Principles of Compliance
New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory
South Australia
NSCA Announcements
Adelaide Breakfast Forum
Release of Warehouse & Distribution Guide to Workplace Safety 2013
Spotlight on safety at NMW 2013
Career Watch
Injury Management Coordinator (NSW)
Injury Management Consultant (NSW)
RTW Coordinator (NSW)
Project Risk Manager (NSW)
Rail Safety and Assurance Manager (NSW)
HSE Advisor Roads (NSW)
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Jailed for fraud

An injured worker who was handed a 16-month jail sentence for fraud has appealed against the severity of the sentence.

Rita Mercuri, 44, from Epping in Victoria, pleaded guilty in the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court last year to one count of fraud and seven counts of providing false information.

She was jailed for 16 months in late January, with eight months of her sentence suspended for two years. She was also ordered to repay $112,000.

Her lawyer lodged an appeal against the sentence and the defendant was released on bail.

WorkSafe Victoria said in a media statement Mercuri fraudulently obtained $112,000 in benefits after falsely claiming to be wheelchair-bound and in need of 24-hour care.

Her leg was amputated below the knee in 1990 after a workplace injury in 1985.

A WorkSafe investigation found Mercuri “could move freely on her prosthetic leg and was capable of living independently”.

Six carers were also charged in 2011 for breaching the Crimes Act and the Accident Compensation Act, including falsifying records and providing false information.

Magistrate Suzanne Cameron said Mercuri’s offending was “breathtakingly audacious”.

The appeal hearing has been set down for March.

For more details, see WorkSafe Victoria

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