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OFF BEAT: Insurer fights back on claim of injury


A British man's attempt to pin a preexisting back injury on his employer almost came back to bite him in the rear.

Paul Gustar of Cornwall, England, was convicted of two counts of insurance fraud this week after insurer AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary filed a private prosecution against Mr. Gustar.

The feckless fraudster claimed that he injured himself by slipping on the wet floor of a moving truck in December 2007. Mr. Gustar filed a workers compensation claim in March 2011. Using medical records and an incriminating text message which suggested that the injury was sustained while Mr. Gustar was pushing his girlfriend's car, the insurer was able to prove that the injury predated the alleged incident.

Citing Mr. Gustar's role as a caregiver for his ailing wife, Truro Crown Court Judge Harvey Clark gave Mr. Gustar a three-year suspended sentence.

“Leave with your wife,” Judge Clark said. “Next time I shall show no mercy.”

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