22 Jan 2010

'Back injury' ACC claimant sentenced for fraud

10:08 pm on 22 January 2010

A Kaikoura man convicted of fraudulently receiving up to $100,000 in payments from ACC has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service.

Michael Gibson, 53, received payments from the Accident Compensation Corporation from 2003 to 2008, after claiming that a back injury prevented him from working.

In 2006, however, his neighbours gave ACC videos of him doing various jobs like digging and fencing on his Hapupu property just north of Kaikoura. This was despite Gibson convincing a medical professional that he couldn't even do the dishes.

When a private investigator hired by ACC visited his home he said he'd renovated a railway cottage over two years, doing most of the work himself. He also said he'd done all of the landscaping.

In November, Gibson pleaded guilty in the Kaikoura District Court to six charges of fraudulently receiving ACC payments.

ACC spokesperson Sue North said she hoped the sentence would send a deterrent message that such behaviour was unacceptable.