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Tuesday, November 24

ACC welcomes fraud guilty plea

Michael Gibson of Kaikoura today admitted six charges of ACC fraud, in a case that has previously received considerable media attention.

“We are very happy with this result. ACC has a zero tolerance to fraud, in line with public expectations. We manage public money and so take fraud very seriously. ACC levies are intended to help injured people, not fraudsters, and we don’t apologise for ensuring that happens. It’s not a victimless crime” said ACC Chief Executive Jan White.

Mr Gibson appeared in the Kaikoura District Court today facing six charges under the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001.

Gibson entered guilty pleas to the six charges of making false statements to ACC and others involved in his claim, for the purposes of receiving payments and other entitlements. 
The six charges were representative of offending between 2003 and 2008. During this period Gibson submitted 37 medical certificates, 34 of them certifying that he was “unable to resume any duties at work” and three certifying him fit for light or alternate work because of a back injury.
On the basis of these medical certificates ACC paid Mr Gibson weekly compensation until ACC’s Investigation Unit established that the he had engaged in sustained work and activities in the development of his Hapuku property, the nature of those activities being contrary to statements he had made to his GP and case managers.

Whilst deliberately misleading ACC, he engaged in activities including landscaping, painting, lawn mowing, hedge trimming and lifting heavy items. Some of these activities were video recorded and photographed by neighbours.

Mr Gibson is due for sentencing on 18 December 2009.