In an Australian first, on 19 May 2022 the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) has commenced prosecution proceedings against five separate parties for various alleged claim farming offences.
In total, prosecutions for 324 claim farming charges have been commenced, each in the Brisbane Magistrates Court. Prosecutions for multiple alleged offences have been commenced against a Queensland based legal practitioner, three Australian corporations and an individual.
Each claim farming charge involves an alleged contravention of section 74 of the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (MAI Act). Section 74 of the MAI Act prohibits the giving or receiving of financial incentives for CTP claim referrals and/or potential CTP claim referrals. The maximum penalty upon conviction for an offence against section 74 is currently:
- For an individual – 300 penalty units / $41,355 fine per contravention; and
- For a body corporate – 1,500 penalty units / $206,775 fine per contravention.
In addition, and on the same date, one of the Australian corporations was also charged with an offence of contravening an information requirement (section 87RT of the MAI Act).
All charges are listed for first mention in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 17 June 2022.
Since the December 2019 introduction of important claim farming reforms to the MAI Act, MAIC has been working closely with the CTP Industry to educate and inform, to monitor and take action to stamp out this insidious practice.
If you come into contact with someone you suspect is a claim farmer, cease the contact and report the details through the MAIC website (Report a Claim Farmer).